Tim Allen and the man who played his TV son, Zachery Ty Bryan, were both interviewed as part of a detailed look by The Hollywood Reporter into the downfall of Bryan’s life and career — with Allen saying Bryan “deviated” from the boy he once knew.
The story, published Thursday, details how Bryan — who starred alongside Allen in the hit ‘90s sitcom “Home Improvement” — seemed to have avoided the usual pitfalls of child stardom until allegations emerged in 2020 of domestic violence and financial fraud.
In October of that year, the 41-year-old was arrested in Oregon, and later pleaded guilty to strangling a woman he was dating at the time. He’s since racked up numerous DUI arrests, incurred massive debt, and has been accused of leading a fraudulent scheme connected to an agriculture-technology startup.
“I don’t know what’s going on with him,” Allen told The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”
“At a certain point, he deviated from the guy I know to somebody who is reacting to situations that I had nothing to do with and can’t control,” Allen added. “I don’t know what happens when people get corrupted.”
Bryan defended himself in the interview, claiming he was not “running some shady scam deal or something.”
“What people don’t understand is that you take risks,” he explained. “Nothing is for sure. It’s the same with movie investments and everything else, you lose or you win.”
On the topic of his domestic violence arrest, which came in the wake of his divorce from ex-wife Carly Matros, Bryan said the story “got so blown out of proportion” by the authorities in Oregon.
“We didn’t even really get that physical,” Bryan said, but admitted that the argument was loud and the screaming traveled easily through thin walls of his town house.
“At the end of the day, [the police] throw a bunch of counts at you because they ultimately want you to plead to something,” he said. “I could’ve fought it… but that’s more stress and drama. I got two misdemeanors and called it a day.”
The woman involved in the incident, Johnnie Faye Cartwright, was reportedly Bryan’s girlfriend and was upset that he was still technically married at the time.
Bryan and Cartwright decided to stay together after the incident, getting engaged in 2021 and having multiple children together since.
When Allen was asked how Bryan could get his life back on track, Allen responded, “I know Zach’s heart. He’s got to figure out his own way.”
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