'Survivor: Thailand' winner Brian Heidik arrested for shooting puppy
By Reality TV World staff, 07/06/2006
Former Survivor: Thailand winner Brian Heidik was arrested early Tuesday morning and charged with battery and cruelty to animals after he shot a puppy with a bow and arrow.
Local police were alerted to the early morning incident by Charmaine Heidik, Heidik's estranged wife with whom he and the couple's 5-year-old son are still living. "At about 3AM, his wife called to report that he was outside and that he had shot a puppy that was on his property with an arrow and planned to shoot another one," Douglas County Chief Deputy Stan Copeland told The Associated Press.
The puppy, a 3-4 month old tan-and-black shepherd-hound mix, was reportedly shot below the rib cage but not seriously injured. Local animal control officers are scheduled to return both puppies to Jeff McCloud, a neighbor, on Thursday morning.
When sheriff's deputies arrived at the scene, Heidik, a 38-year-old former porn actor who was living in the Los Angeles area when he appeared on Survivor, allegedly attempted to flee in his car but was quickly caught and transported back to the Douglasville, GA home that he and his family had moved to in November 2004.
After Heidik was apprehended, Charmaine Heidik, a 34-year-old former porn actress and Playboy bunny who was charged with spousal abuse for punching Heidik back in November 2002, told the deputies that in addition to shooting the puppy, he had also hit her approximately ten days earlier on June 23. According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Charmaine Heidik told police that Heidik "had grabbed her by the face and pushed her down, bruising her forehead and elbow." Unspecified "evidence in the home" also reportedly supported the charge. The couple's son was also present in the home at the time of Heidik's arrest.
According to Charmaine Heidik, the puppy shooting followed a night in which Heidik had been out drinking with "buddies." After going to bed earlier in the night, she awoke to the sounds of a yelping dog at 3:30AM. Upon wandering out to the house's back porch, she saw Heidik holding the bow and arrow. "He just shoots the dog right in front of me," Charmaine Heidik told the Journal-Constitution. "I am tired of stupid dogs on my back porch," Heidik then allegedly remarked to her.
Heidik was released on Wednesday morning after posting $6,000 bond -- $2,000 on the battery charge and $4,000 on a cruelty to animals charge -- following his initial appearance at Douglas County Magistrate Court. According to WSB-TV, Heidik told the judge that he thought the puppy was a coyote that has been harassing his pets. "We'd been out ATV riding and we all knew that there was a coyote but... I had two other dogs I didn't want to get killed," Heidik told the judge. "I had two ducks that I gave my son for Easter and they got killed about three weeks ago by something prowling."
During the hearing, Heidik also told the judge that he and his wife were in the middle of divorcing, alleged that she hit him, and claimed to have moved to Douglasville (a town located approximately 20 miles outside Atlanta) to produce a reality show about hunting. After granting him his bond, the judge also ordered Heidik to separate from his wife.
While Heidik told the California police that responded to his November 2002 911 call that there had been "four additional domestic violence occurrences between them during the past year" and he was planning to file for divorce, Charmaine Heidik told reporters that the couple is still only currently legally separated. According to her, Heidik has been "spiraling out of control" ever since his Survivor: Thailand victory. "I don't think he's ever adapted to real life since [the show,]" she told the Journal-Constitution. "He thinks he can do anything. He thinks he's invincible."
Survivor: Thailand, the fifth edition of the long-running CBS reality show, was broadcast in Fall 2002. Although CBS had identified Heidik as a "used car salesman" when it revealed the fifth season's cast, it only took less than a week for The Smoking Gun to discover his roles (credited as David Roth) in a variety of soft-core pornographic films that included "Virgins of Sherwood Forest," "Passions Obsession," "Sinful Obsession," and "The Pleasure Zone."
After the discovery, long-time Survivor spokeswoman Colleen Sullivan told the investigative website that CBS officials were "absolutely aware" of Heidik's soft-core resume -- a statement that E! columnist Kristen Veitch (then still known as "Wanda") later reported was somewhat misleading. According to Veitch, Heidik never told the show's producers about his soft-core past and despite a background check, neither CBS or the show's producers learned of it until an editor who was editing the show's raw footage "recognized" Heidik and the distinctive large tiger tattoo on his right shoulder.
Charmaine Heidik's 2002 spousal abuse charge was dismissed after she agreed to attend counseling.