Zachery Ty Bryan, former ‘Home Improvement’ child star, arrested for domestic violence

SANTA MONICA, CA - NOVEMBER 13: Actor Zachery Ty Bryan attends P.S. ARTS and OneWest Bank's Express Yourself 2016 at Barker Hangar on November 13, 2016 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for P.S. ARTS)

Zachery Ty Bryan, who played the oldest brother on Home Improvement, was been arrested on a domestic violence charge. It’s the latest in a series of arrests and problems for the one-time child star. (Photo: Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for P.S. ARTS)

Zachery Ty Bryan, best known for playing the older son on ’90s sitcom Home Improvement, has been arrested — again — on a domestic violence charge.

The actor was booked Friday in Eugene, Oregon, for fourth-degree felony assault. He remains in jail now days later, Lane County court documents show.

“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 People in a statement. “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.)

The case mirrors Bryan’s October 2020 arrest. He faced charges of strangulation and assault after a physical dispute with his then-girlfriend, Johnnie Faye Cartwright. 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.”

This booking photo released Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020, by the Eugene, Ore., Police Department shows suspect Zachery Ty Bryan. Bryan, the actor who played the oldest son on the long-running 1990s sit-com “Home Improvement” was arrested Friday, OCt. 16, 2020, in Oregon and faces charges of strangulation and assault. (Eugene Police Department via AP)
Bryan’s booking photo from his October 2020 domestic violence arrest. The state no longer publicly releases mug shots. (Photo: Eugene Police Department via AP)

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 an affair with Cartwright for two years — 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 or text LOVEIS to 22522.

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