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Daniel Baldwin files for divorce, claims violence

Actor Daniel Baldwin has filed for divorce and been granted a restraining order against his wife, claiming she punched him, threatened him with a knife in front of the couple's children and made threats of violence and death "too numerous to list."

Baldwin, 50, said police told him to take his children out of the couple's house on Sunday, where he said the children witnessed his wife punching him in the face.

Joanne Baldwin, 41, was arrested Wednesday night for violating her parole on a drunken driving conviction.

She has been jailed, and the police chief in Lake Oswego, the wealthy suburb where the couple has lived since 2010, said she isn't expected to be released until a hearing Wednesday.

Jail records do not show whether Joanne Baldwin has hired an attorney, and the jail does not permit phone interviews

Don Forman, the interim police chief in Lake Oswego, said Joanne Baldwin surrendered Wednesday in response to a warrant alleging she had violated terms of her probation from an earlier conviction for driving under the influence.

"One of our police staffers called her and strongly suggested that she turn herself in," Forman said.

She was arraigned Wednesday and is being held until a hearing next week, Forman said. He said he didn't have details about how she is alleged to have violated her probation.

Baldwin has lived with his wife since 2006. The couple married in July 2007. He filed for divorce on Tuesday.

"There are so many instances of violence and death threats, they are too numerous to list," Baldwin wrote in a cramped scrawl in his request for a restraining order. "Sadly, all of them seem to occur in front of our children."

Baldwin alleges a history of violence by his wife, beginning in Montecito, Calif., in 2009. Baldwin said in that incident, his wife punched him, leaving him with a black eye, then chased him outside to his car.

Baldwin said his wife is "violent and dangerous" when she consumes alcohol. After a second drunken driving conviction in June 2010, Baldwin said his wife broke her probation "hundreds of times."

Joanne Baldwin's aggressiveness and drinking escalated since the first signs of violence, Daniel Baldwin said in the complaint.

In January, she said she had watched a documentary on women who killed their husbands, Baldwin wrote, and quoted her as saying "'Now I know how to do it, I understand why they did it. You have been warned. Move out of this house or I am going to kill you.' "

Baldwin said that statement was overheard by the couple's children, the older of whom later asked him "Is mommy going to kill us?"

The violence continued, Baldwin said, in incidents in March and May, and culminated with the fight on Sunday.

Baldwin acted in television series in the 1990s, including a leading role on the NBC series "Homicide: Life on the Street" and the movie "Car 54, Where Are You?"

Though he continued to work, his roles progressively diminished. By 2007, he was ordered by a judge to enter a drug treatment program after police said they found the actor and another man in a Santa Monica hotel, along with cocaine and drug paraphernalia.

Baldwin's publicist on Thursday said Baldwin has been sober for four years, and didn't alert police to his wife's problems sooner because of the leniency given him by his family while he struggled with drug abuse.

"Daniel has had his own problems with substance abuse," said Baldwin's spokeswoman, Rachel Madison Hill. "I think he wanted to stand by her to help her out. People gave him chance after chance after chance. I think he wanted to do the same for Joanne."

Hill said Joanne Baldwin's problems were getting worse, and said Daniel Baldwin was concerned about his children.

"The move to Lake Oswego was perhaps in hopes their domestic situation would get better," Hill said. "There was the hope that things would mellow out. But Joanne liked the L.A. life.

"I don't know if Joanne really wanted to go up there."

When the couple relocated from California to Lake Oswego, Baldwin said at the time that he hoped to turn Portland, Ore., into a hub of film and television production, much like Vancouver, B.C., was in the 1990s.

"I just wanted to do something that really mattered," he told The Oregonian newspaper. "And I know I have the power and ability to do something more with my life."

Lake Oswego was home to iron foundries in the early 20th century. The city located on the banks of the Willamette River grew into one of the most affluent suburbs of Portland.

With a population of about 37,500 surrounding scenic Oswego Lake, the city has been home to many prominent figures, including former NBA player and 2010 gubernatorial candidate Chris Dudley, members of the Portland Trailblazers, and the late two-time Nobel prizewinner Linus Pauling.

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Associated Press writer Tim Fought contributed to this report.

Nigel Duara can be reached at www.twitter.com/nigelduara

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