The wife of celebrity chef Grady Spears has obtained a temporary protective order against him after he told her “there will be a funeral,” implying he was going to kill her, during an argument this month, according to an affidavit.
Judge Judith G. Wells issued the order Friday against Spears, 50, of Fort Worth, who was arrested and charged in July with assaulting his wife at their home.
A hearing has been scheduled for Sept. 20 in the 324th District Court. If the order is extended during that hearing, one of the requirements would be that Spears complete a battering intervention and prevention program.
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Until then, Spears is prohibited from going within 300 feet of the residences or places of employment of Wendy Mann-Spears. He is also prohibited from possessing firearms, communicating with his wife except through her attorney, threatening her or harming pets.
Spears could not be reached for comment Tuesday. Trent Loftin of Fort Worth, his attorney after his arrest in July, did not return a telephone call or email.
“I don’t believe any of the allegations against him,” said Spears’ ex-wife, Jennifer Challis of Hurst, who was married to Spears for 10 years before they divorced in 2010. She said she has known him for 18 years.
“He never slapped me or hit me in the 10 years we were together. Not once,” she said.
Challis said Spears had back surgery Tuesday and was recovering in a local hospital.
Shortly after Spears’ arrest on a domestic assault complaint in July, Wendy Mann-Spears blamed medications for her husband’s behavior.
She wrote in a Facebook post that her husband “does not condone violence. He’s been on medication but been so busy lately he’s not been taking it the way he should have been.”
But she says in the affidavit obtained by the Star-Telegram on Tuesday that Spears has been mentally and physically abusing her for about a year on almost a daily basis. The affidavit was filed Friday as part of an application for a protective order.
Police have been called out to their home several times recently, the affidavit stated.
The affidavit listed several incidents of violence:
- During an argument in April 2016 at the Hard Rock Cafe in Las Vegas, Wendy Mann-Spears says her husband was slinging a belt around in anger and hit her with it during an argument.
- She was punched in the face on Jan. 25 while they argued.
- In March, she again was hit with his belt, leaving cuts and bruises on her.
- On July 3, she was punched in the mouth by her husband when he tried to leave the house. He was charged with assault causing bodily injury in that case, according to Tarrant County criminal court records. The charge is a Class A misdemeanor.
- On Sept. 5, as they argued, Spears told her “that there will be a funeral with two hearse vehicles implying that he was going to kill her,” according to the affidavit.
Mann-Spears says in the affidavit that Spears has been using illegal drugs and drinking alcohol on a regular basis, which has prompted the domestic violence.
Spears recently co-founded Horseshoe Hill Cafe in the Stockyards along with other partners. He was the original chef at Reata, owned by the Micallef family, with locations in downtown Fort Worth and Alpine. He left in 2000 and has owned or managed a string of other restaurants in Fort Worth and across Texas. He also has written several cookbooks.
A few days after his arrest in July, the Food Hall at Crockett Row in the West 7th shopping area dropped its plans for a Spears restaurant and cut ties with him, according to a spokesperson.