Antonio Sabàto Jr. and his wife Cheryl Marie are calling it quits after five years of marriage.
The former soap star, who recently announced plans to run for U.S. Congress, reportedly filed for divorce back in December 2016, according to TMZ. Sabato Jr. is seeking joint custody of their 6-year-old son, Antonio Kalani, while Marie is asking for sole physical custody over concerns for her child’s safety.
Marie is claiming in documents obtained by the media outlet that her estranged husband struggles with drug abuse. The television presenter and former beauty pageant winner alleges that Sabato Jr. admitted to using crystal meth before they started dating, but has more recently abused benzodiazepines, a class of drugs that are primarily taken for treating anxiety and sleeping disorders.
While Sabato Jr. admits to seeking treatment for an addiction to sleeping pills in the past, he denies the other allegations. A representative for the actor told HuffPost that the accusations are “unfounded,” but as the divorce proceedings are ongoing, he has no statement at this time.
Coincidentally, Sabato Jr. has made substance abuse and the opioid epidemic a central part of his political platform, as he runs for California’s 26th Congressional District seat, against incumbent Rep. Julia Brownley (D).
The 45-year-old, who was one of Hollywood’s biggest supporters of Donald Trump in the last election, filed with the Federal Election Commission earlier this month. According to GOP strategist Charles Moran, Sabato Jr. plans to utilize his connection to the current president as “a member of the majority party who has good relations with the Trump administration.”
The “Melrose Place” actor was inspired to run for office after praising Trump at the Republican National Convention in 2016, which he believes was the reason he’s been blacklisted in Hollywood.
HuffPost has reached out to representatives for Sabàto Jr. and will update this post accordingly.
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