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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

"This isn't a women's only club," she says. "I'd say 50% of the letters I got were from men that were abused by their mothers, fathers, or girlfriends. People think abuse is just for women. It must drive men absolutely insane because men get abused as well."

Besides her domestic violence work, Kitaen has also lent her life experiences in the form of counseling. Testimony Life Resources, just like the namesake, offers resources for people to come back to life after facing issues such as addiction, eating disorders, depression or suicide. Based in San Juan Capistrano, Kitaen sits in on one-on-one sessions, offering her advice.

"I've been around the block a few times," she laughs. "There is still a lot to learn but I've learned a lot in my life through error."

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Kitaen believes Testimony offers a special program, combining mental, physical and spiritual counseling, providing people with the necessary skills to get back up on their feet.

"Sometimes people don't even know the basics and that's OK," she says. "As long as there are people that do know the basics and we can match those people up … then we can move from there. That's what Testimony is."

While Kitaen helps others get their lives going, it seems that she's doing the same with her career. She says MTV is talking about a 30th anniversary coffee table book and the network has approached her for an interview due to her presence in Whitesnake's iconic music videos, particularly the one in which she kicks up her legs on the hood of a Jaguar. The video for "Here I Go Again" had logged 10.3 million hits on YouTube, as of Friday.

She's also working on an autobiography.

When she's not volunteering, writing or acting, Kitaen is just a normal mom, picking up her daughters from school and taking them to the movies. She recently took her eldest to Bali, where they took Thai cooking classes. During the interview she mentioned they were all going out to sushi that night.

"It's always been one big happy family," Kitaen says. "Well, it hasn't always been … but we've evolved into that."

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