TV vet Melissa Gilbert’s engagement to former “thirtysomething” Emmy winner Timothy Busfield has shocked pals, who fear it’s a rebound romance that will blow up in her face!
Busfield, 55, swept the “Little House on the Prairie” star, 48, off her feet after her recent split from French cad Thierry Gauchet, sources say.
But the actor/director has a long history of money woes and other troubles, insiders say.
“Timothy and Melissa are longtime friends,” said one of the actress’ pals.
“But he’s been divorced twice, and he’s been accused of several ugly sexual incidents over the years.”
Busfield’s first marriage to actress Radha Delamarter ended in 1986, and his 2008 split from his second wife, former fashion consultant Jennifer Merwin, led to him losing his Malibu home to foreclosure in January 2011.
On a more disturbing note, Busfield, who also starred in “The West Wing,” was accused of sexual harassment by a 17-year-old Minnesota high school student in a March 1994 civil suit.
The case was settled out of court OF court, but last year another woman accused Busfield of sexual battery after she claims he groped her in a Hollywood movie theater.
But the Los Angeles city attorney concluded there was insufficient evidence and no charges were filed.
“Timothy avoided crim-inal proceedings, but he’s got a lot of baggage that Melissa just doesn’t need,” said the source.
Melissa, a mother of two, has also been divorced twice – from actor Bo Brinkman and “Scarecrow and Mrs. King” star Bruce Boxleitner.
And as The ENQUIRER has reported, her French beau Thierry, a vintage car salesman, dumped her after realizing she wasn’t as rich and famous as he thought.
“Melissa doesn’t need to rush to the altar, especially with someone like Timothy,” said the source. “It could only end in more tears.”