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Tawny Kitaen: Who she is today

Beauty known for Whitesnake videos has come through hard times to focus on motherhood, helping abused women, she says.

August 27, 2010|By Joanna Clay, joanna.clay@latimes.com

The picture of Kitaen, Finley and their two daughters is taken at a restaurant during her recent birthday. They look like any family, albeit a good-looking one, and for Kitaen, it sounds like that's exactly what she wants them to be. Just like any other family.

This all begs the question about Kitaen and Finley: Are they back together?

Kitaen demurs.

"It's complicated," she says with a smile.

Finley, in the phone interview, doesn't address the context of the relationship but praises his ex.

"We have been and will continue to be there for each other," Finley says. "As far as I am concerned, she has no bigger supporter than me."

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She asserts that her stay in his home is "temporary" and that she'll soon be moving to another home, a five-minute drive away.

Although she isn't clear on the status of their relationship, she says, "We worked things out in our own way."

Kitaen's 13-year relationship with Finley has faced its ups and downs. Her battle with Vicodin, a painkiller, allegedly put a wedge between the couple, but it was another relationship that really brought her life to a breaking point.

Following the 2002 divorce from Finley, Kitaen says she got involved with a man who was physically and verbally abusive.

"Chuck hated this guy. My parents, my friends and family hated this guy," she says. "I couldn't see it. I was in so much pain from the divorce."

It was during this relationship, in 2006, that Kitaen says she developed a dependency on cocaine.

"A friend said, 'Do you want to try this?' I tried it and I went on a run for about six months … hard," Kitaen says. "I had made a reservation at Promises (a rehabilitation program) to get off the coke."

She made a decision: Dump the boyfriend and the drugs.

The day before she left for Promises, Kitaen says she gave 15 grams of cocaine to authorities.

"I handed it to them. I said, 'Look, I'm going to rehab tomorrow,'" she says.

Nine months later, after her stay in rehab, she was contacted by the authorities and asked to complete drug testing and counseling in order to dismiss a possession charge.

Now, Kitaen says she abstains from drugs and alcohol. However, Kitaen prefers to say she is "living" versus "sober" because she believes the commonly used "sober" has negative connotations.

Kitaen says her battles with drugs were situational, that she hasn't had a long history with drug abuse, therefore it isn't a day-by-day struggle, rather a lifestyle change.

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