Zachery Ty Bryan has finally been released from jail — and his attorney is calling for people to “withhold judgement until they see what the actual facts are.”
The actor, best known for playing the older son on the ’90s sitcom Home Improvement, was arrested last Friday in Eugene, Oregon, in a domestic violence case. He faces two felony charges — fourth-degree assault and third-degree robbery charges — as well as a misdemeanor charge of harassment. He is due in court on Sept. 5.
Bryan’s criminal defense attorney John Kolego from Kolego & Kraushaar told The Hollywood Reporter after his release on Thursday, “Presumption of innocence is extremely important and people should withhold judgement until they see what the actual facts are.”
As previously reported, “At around 6:00 p.m. on July 28, Eugene Police received report of a physical dispute between a male and adult female at a north Eugene residence,” a police spokesman told Yahoo Entertainment. “The dispute was reported to have occurred several hours prior and the suspect, identified as Zachery Ty Bryan, age 41, of Laguna Beach, California, had left the location. Eugene Police subsequently contacted Bryan in the area. Bryan was lodged at Lane County Jail on a charge of Assault in the Fourth Degree APA (Abuse Prevention Act).” (The Abuse Prevention Act is when a person previously protected by a Family Abuse Prevention Act restraining order is endangered.)
While he was in jail, the two additional charges were added. According to police, Bryan is reported to have pushed one of the victim’s relatives and taken his phone during the dispute.
After Bryan’s arrest, his fiancée, Johnnie Faye Cartwright, who shares three children with him, told Us Weekly, “I’ll always want what’s best for the father of my children. Trauma can bring struggles in many shapes and forms. It’s a horrible situation that’s going to be spun in so many ways. I’ve learned firsthand the truth will never align with what’s been put out there. I ask everyone to please be respectful of our privacy for the sake of the children and our families so the healing process can begin.”
The case mirrors Bryan’s October 2020 arrest involving Cartwright, 30. He faced charges of strangulation and assault after a physical dispute. He ended up avoiding the most serious charges, making a plea deal to menacing and assault in the fourth degree constituting domestic violence and avoiding six other charges in February 2021. Bryan was sentenced to 36 months of probation with multiple conditions, including partaking in a batterer intervention program. He was also to have “no contact with the victim.”
Bryan gave a wild interview to the Hollywood Reporter in late June in which he detailed the 2020 arrest. He claimed the incident “got so blown out of proportion,” but said he was having a two-year affair with Cartwright — while married to high school sweetheart Carly Matros — and Cartwright was upset about his “double life.” He claimed they had “been drinking too much” and got into a nasty argument. “We didn’t even really get that physical. We got really loud. We were screaming and because we were in a townhome that had [thin walls], everybody could hear,” he said. “Johnnie was, at the time, just really upset about my situation. At the end of the day, [the police] throw a bunch of counts at you because they ultimately want you to plead to something.”
Bryan and Matros separated the same month as his 2020 arrest. He infamously plagiarized Armie Hammer’s and Elizabeth Chambers’s divorce announcement when he shared the news with his followers on social media. “I was just in party freaking mode,” he said of his marriage. “Making movies, traveling, drinking. I wasn’t living the way I was raised, you know what I mean? I was not being a faithful husband, and I was not being the best me. I thought I would be able to go out and do whatever I wanted, have fun, come home and be a family man with my kids. That’s not how the real world works.”
Bryan — who was previously arrested for DUI in 2004, 2007, and 2017 — called the 2020 arrest a wake-up call. “I definitely have an issue with drinking,” he told the Hollywood Reporter, but added that he wouldn’t characterize himself as an alcoholic. “Dude, I started drinking when I was 14. Back then, I was going to nightclubs and they would just let me in because I was the kid from Home Improvement.”
In addition to his growing arrest record, Bryan has been accused of jilting investors in a crypto scheme.
Tim Allen, who played Bryan’s TV dad on Home Improvement, commented for the Hollywood Reporter article, saying, “I don’t know what’s going on with him. Zach is a great kid who has grown into a complex man. All you can do is step aside and let somebody go through their process… I know Zach’s heart. He’s got to figure out his own way.”
At the time of the interview, Bryan said he was still with Cartwright. He described themselves as “good friends” and “partners.” They became engaged in November 2021 and have welcomed three children over the last two years. They had twins in May and a daughter in spring 2022.
Bryan is a father of seven children total. He also has four children with Matros, including another set of twins.
For anyone affected by abuse and needing support, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or if you’re unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 22522.
Editor’s note: This story was originally published on July 31, 2023, and has been updated with new information
– Taryn Ryder contributed to this report