Anthony Cumia of ‘Opie and Anthony’ released without bail
Anthony Cumia, the controversial shock jock from “Opie and Anthony,” pleaded not guilty Sunday to assaulting his 26-year-old girlfriend at his Roslyn Heights home.
Cumia, 54, “stomped” on his girlfriend’s hand, strangled her and pinned her against a wall after an argument, prosecutors said. According to court papers, the dispute started early Saturday after the girlfriend, identified during the hearing as Danielle Brand, commented about a “former dating partner” of Cumia. Brand suffered a fractured rib, swollen arm and chest pain, prosecutors said.
The argument “escalated” and Cumia “assaulted” Brand, according to the complaint. It says the woman, “after she made several attempts to flee, made it outside the house, only to have the defendant carry her back in, and then pin her against the wall, and wrap his hands around her neck.”
When Brand tried to call the police, the documents claim, Cumia smashed her cellphone. Then she tried to call for help from the home’s landline phone, but Cumia pulled the phone from the wall. The two broke each other’s cellphones, attorneys said.
Brand was later taken to a diner, where she had the “opportunity to call her stepmother for help,” prosecutors said.
Cumia’s attorney, Alan J. Schwartz of Garden City, denied all of the charges against Cumia and said Brand is Cumia’s girlfriend, and that Brand lives in his New York City apartment. The dispute was the result of a disagreement between the two, he said.
“Things are often not what they seem to be,” Schwartz told reporters as he escorted his client from the courtroom. Cumia declined to comment as he left in a white Mercedes-Benz.
A video went viral after it surfaced on YouTube appearing to show the argument between Cumia and Brand, during which she accuses the broadcaster of breaking one of her ribs. She used Periscope, which allows users to live stream, to record the incident.
No bail was set and Cumia was released, although prosecutors had asked that he be held on $50,000 cash bail. The judge ordered Cumia to stay away from the victim, and Cumia’s next court date is Jan. 4. He faces charges of strangulation, criminal mischief, unlawful imprisonment and assault.
In the Periscope video, which shows Cumia in the background laughing, Cumia calls the film “The Anthony and Dani Show” after they scream at each other. It opens with Brand saying, “I’m in Long Island,” and then, “I got my hand broken . . . I’m waiting for the police to come.”
Brand shows her injuries to the camera and at one point Cumia tells her to “leave my house.”
Cumia, who was raised in Elwood and attended John Glenn High School but did not graduate, was fired by Sirius XM satellite radio last year over tweets the company described as “racially charged and hate-filled.”
On Twitter, Cumia claimed he was punched in the face by an African-American woman who had stepped into the frame while he was taking a photograph. The tweets, which were later deleted and used racial generalizations, said it was “open season on white people in this day and age.”
Cumia has been in several dust-ups with employers over the years. In 1998 Cumia and his co-host, Greg Hughes (known as Opie), were fired from a Boston-area radio station for an April Fool’s hoax that claimed the mayor had died in a traffic accident.
The show was canceled in 2002 after they promoted a contest that resulted in a couple calling in to say they were having sex at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan.
Since the summer of 2014, Cumia has been host of the online paid subscription show, “The Anthony Cumia Show.”