By BETH HEMPHILL
EUGENE, Ore. (Court TV) — The actor, who played Brad, the oldest son on the long-running 1990s sit-com, “Home Improvement,” is being formally arraigned on Wednesday, Oct. 25, for felony assault charges following a domestic dispute with his now fiancee, who he had previously been dating while he was married to another woman.
Zachery Ty Bryan, 41, of Laguna Beach, California, is facing charges of fourth-degree felony assault, third-degree robbery and harassment after his July 28 arrest in Eugene, Oregon, according to online records. Bryan’s attorney, John Kolego, issued a statement to PEOPLE saying, “Presumption of innocence is extremely important and people should withhold judgment until they see what the actual facts are.”
A similar domestic dispute with Johnnie Faye Cartwrite, the mother of three of his seven children, occurred in Oct. 2020, when Bryan was convicted of assault and strangulation charges after Eugene Police Department said officers were dispatched to a North Eugene apartment following a report of a physical dispute. Bryan reportedly assaulted Cartwrite, then 27, impeded her breathing, and took her phone away when she tried to call 911, police said. He was booked into Lane County jail later that same night. Bryan has since served three years probation and participated in a violence prevention program called Bridges2Safety. His charges also included a court order to have no contact with Cartwrite, whom he became engaged to in Nov. 2021, according to his now disabled Instagram account.
Because of the court-mandated restraining order, Bryan is now facing a charge of assault in the fourth-degree under the Oregon Family Abuse Prevention Act, which protects families from having to file a divorce or legal separation when you’ve been a victim of domestic violence.
Bryan told the Hollywood Reporter that the 2020 drunken dispute with Cartwrite happened a couple weeks after he publicly announced his separation from Carly Matrol, his now ex-wife and mother of four children.
“We didn’t even really get that physical. We got really loud. We were screaming and because we were in a townhome that had [thin walls], everybody could hear. Johnnie was, at the time, just really upset about my situation. At the end of the day, [the police] throw a bunch of counts at you because they ultimately want you to plead to something,” says Bryan, who adds that the police nicknamed him “Country Club Zach” poking fun at his fame. “I could’ve fought it … but that’s more stress and drama. I got two misdemeanors and called it a day,” Bryan told The Hollywood Reporter.
Following the news of his latest arrest, Cartwright has shown her support of her fiance. The 30-year-old model told US Weekly that she’s “learned firsthand the truth” and that it “will never align with what’s been put out there.” She also said she will “always want what’s best for the father of my children.”
Bryan, who is still working in the entertainment industry, has seven kids from two different mothers.
On the ABC sitcom, which ran from 1991 to 1999, Bryan played Brad, the oldest son of Tim Taylor, played by actor Tim Allen, and his wife, Jill Taylor, played by Patricia Richardson. Jonathn Taylor Thomas, 40, starred as middle brother Randy, while Taran Noah Smith played youngest brother Mark.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline website, or call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).