Stacey Dash Reportedly Says She Can’t Afford A Lawyer For Domestic Battery Case

Dash is seeking court-appointed legal representation, but must prove she doesn't have the financial wherewithal to pay for private counsel.

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt

Following her arrest for domestic battery, actress Stacey Dash has reportedly claimed that she is unable to afford a lawyer to defend her.

The 52-year-old actress was arrested Sunday in the Florida home she shares with her husband, Jeffrey Marty, after calling 911 to allege that she’d been assaulted. Responding officers saw scratches on Marty’s arms and took Dash into custody on a domestic battery charge, although a man claiming to be Dash's manager, Sean P. Jackson, said that marks were later observed on Dash’s neck during a medical examination.

She has since been released from custody, but new reports suggest that she may be experiencing some financial strain. Dash has requested a public defender to fight her case, court documents obtained by Yahoo News state. Those who apply for indigent status claim that they do not make enough money to pay for a lawyer on their own, according to Law.com’s legal dictionary. To qualify for that status in the state of Florida, as Dash is reportedly hoping to do, one must provide documentation to the court showing proof of net income and information regarding other assets and debts, the Florida Commission For Human Rights states on their website.

Dash’s request has been temporarily approved, but she will need to hand over the required financial documents before her status can be made permanent, according to Yahoo News.

Dash is most known for her role in the 1995 film “Clueless,” and for the years she spent appearing on Fox News as a contributor, a position she occupied from 2014 to 2017. Her most recent role in a completed project was in the 2013 short film “Blue Butterflies,” according to her IMDB profile.

Dash brought up her prior gigs during her arrest on Sunday, telling the arresting officer, “I’m an actress. I did a film called ‘Clueless.’”

“I did politics for a while. I was a Fox News contributor,” she said later.

Dash is alleged to have “pushed” and “slapped” her husband, leaving “red scratch marks” on his arm, according to an arrest report obtained by Oxygen.com, though it doesn't mention Marty by name. However, in audio of the 911 call that Dash placed calling authorities to her home, she can be heard telling a dispatcher that she was “assaulted by [her] husband,” Page Six reports.

Dash claimed that the trouble began after she tried to get her teenage stepdaughter to finish her homework; the teen got “in [her] face” and after she pushed the girl back, her husband put her into a chokehold, she claimed. She accused her husband and his three children, who she described as “disrespectful” and “awful,” of conspiring to get her arrested.

It is currently unclear how Dash’s case will proceed. Jackson, the man identifying himself as Dash’s manager, told Yahoo News that Marty will not be pressing charges against his wife, but the Pasco County Sheriff's Office told the outlet that the case will still proceed as any other, and be subject to the review of the state’s attorney’s office. The office declined to comment when asked by the outlet if charges will be filed.

In a statement obtained by PEOPLE shortly after Dash’s arrest, Jackson claimed that Dash acted in self-defense after her husband assaulted her.

“Stacey actually called the police because she was attacked by her husband. He choked her and she was defending herself,” he said. “When the police arrived, they couldn’t see any physical marks on her, but they did see them on him.”

However, Dash’s team seemed to contradict these claims in another statement also obtained by PEOPLE, in which they described the incident as a “marital dispute” and claimed that the story had been “misrepresented.”

“No charges were pressed by her husband, however, Deputies arrested Ms. Dash peacefully, as a formality. Ms. Dash’s husband appeared in court today, September 30th, on her behalf and Ms. Dash was released from the Land O’ Lakes detention facility. No further legal action is pending,” their statement reads. “The marital dispute, while personal and unfortunate, has since been blown out of proportion. An earlier report on TMZ.com said her manager told TMZ that she was attacked by her husband — both the sources relationship to Ms. Dash and the events of the evening were misrepresented.”

Marty is Dash’s fourth husband. In 2016, the actress spoke out about a past relationship that was abusive, and her team’s statement referred to her history as a survivor.

“Ms. Dash is a domestic abuse survivor from a previous relationship and has championed for other abuse victims to speak up,” the statement continued. “The untruthfulness being reported saddens Ms. Dash and her family — no further comments will be made and we ask that Ms. Dash and her family’s privacy will be respected."

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