Roseanne Barr‘s ex husband Tom Arnold said the actress is “having mental health issues right now” in a Wednesday interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
The interview came shortly after ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey announced the cancellation of Roseanne following a racist tweet Barr sent about former presidential aide Valerie Jarrett.
“She’s having mental health issues right now. I’m sure that’s part of this,” Arnold, who also wrote for the original sitcom, told Cooper. “It doesn’t make it OK. They had to cancel the show.”
However, he implied that Barr wanted the show to end.
“It had to happen,” Arnold told The Hollywood Reporter in regards to the show’s cancellation. “And I am going to tell you the truth, she wanted it to happen, if you saw how her tweets escalated this weekend. If it hadn’t happened yesterday, this season would have been so awful for everyone every day because she would have felt like she was [being] taken advantage [of], just like when I left the show.”
He also suggested that the show’s demise could have been avoided if someone had taken away Barr’s phone. Although, he told THR he had been informed that Barr refused to give it up.
“ABC lost maybe $1 billion from this; this show was grinding out money hand over fist and they lost it all because somebody didn’t say, ‘Get that phone out of her hand,'” Arnold told the publication. “She’s not going to go on TV and say these things. But you put that phone in her hand and she is a loose cannon.”
Arnold and Barr married in 1990. He told CNN he had mental health issues and that he went to rehab before they got married. He also said they “dealt with [Barr’s] mental health issues as a family” and that “she’s done amazing with that.” However, he seemed to suggest Barr could have changed since their divorce in 1994.
“It has been 24 years, so I don’t know that I know who Roseanne is,” he told THR.
According to a 2001 article by ABC News, Barr first told the world she has multiple personality disorder, or dissociative identity disorder, in 1994. She also opened up about it in a 2001 interview with Esquire.
“I was always in conflict about conflicting parts, but I’ve learned how to get them to listen to each other now,” she told the magazine at the time. “I’ve learned how to get them to know they’re on the same team, that we occupy the same body, which we never knew before.”
After news of the show’s cancellation broke, Barr apologized to the cast and crew “who lost their jobs on my show due to my stupid tweet.” She also claimed she had been “Ambien tweeting.” Her fellow cast members have spoken out, as well.
“Roseanne’s recent comments about Valerie Jarrett, and so much more, are abhorrent and do not reflect the beliefs of our cast and crew or anyone associated with our show,” Sara Gilbert, who long portrayed Barr’s on-screen daughter, tweeted Tuesday. “I am disappointed in her actions to say the least.”