Fans of the 'Real Housewives' television series are no strangers to the ever-present drama between the show's cast members. However, the issues on the show are largely limited to what most would consider trivial, such as gossip, clothing, and plastic surgery. The real drama often occurs behind the scenes, as was the case earlier this week when Orange County Real Housewife Tamra Barney filed domestic violence charges against her estranged husband, Simon.

The Barneys filed for divorce early this year after 12 years of marriage. Thus far, their split has been anything but amicable, with reported battles over custody and financial issues. This culminated in the domestic violence, which allegedly occurred when Simon came to Tamra's home to return the family dog. A verbal argument between the couple escalated into a physical altercation as Simon allegedly threw the dog's leash at Tamra. The couple have three children together, all of whom were present during the argument.

When Simon left the home, he texted Tamra to say he was sorry, but his apology came too late: Tamra has already called the police, who arrived at Simon's house later that evening to arrest him.

Simon was released the following day on $10,000 bail. In a statement, he denied the abuse, claiming that Tamra fabricated the event to get ahead in court. "This incident was a setup by my ex-wife and she is already using it to make a claim for 100 percent custody of our children," he said. "It stems primarily from me refusing permission for our children to be filmed on her reality show."

Simon continued, denying that he threw the dog leash at Tamra. "I have never been a danger to either my ex-wife or our children," he said. "I love our children more than anything in the world."

Source: The Orange County Register, "Simon Barney responds to 'Housewife's' charge", Richard Chang, 22 September 2010