A Washington attorney arrested for allegedly assaulting his 8-year-old son said yesterday that his son's allegations against him represent a "domestic problem gone haywire."

F. Keith Adkinson, 41, was charged Friday by Montgomery County police with assault and illegal possession of explosives after his son alleged that Adkinson had held a gun to his head to make him watch horror movies and once rolled a grenade into the room where he was watching television, police said.

In an interview yesterday after he was released on personal recognizance, Adkinson said that he and his wife Frederica Brawley-Adkinson are involved in a "bitter divorce." After the breakup, he said, his son suffered emotional problems and a psychologist treating the boy instructed Adkinson to do "more male things" with his son, such as hiking and sports. But Adkinson denied the boy's accusations, calling them "categorically untrue."

"I never put a gun to my boy's head, and I've never set off a hand grenade in my life," Adkinson said. "I don't even spank the child when he needs a whack on the behind."

The boy, who was not identified because of his age, lives with his mother in Harpers Ferry, W.Va., and visits him every other weekend, Adkinson said.

The mother could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Detective Mike Jones of the Montgomery County police youth division said yesterday that he does not believe the allegations are the result of a domestic squabble between Adkinson and his wife.

Police said that they began their investigation after an interview with the child, who had called social workers.

"When we talked to the child in our office, we then initiated an investigation of possible child abuse," Jones said. "We are not investigating a domestic dispute here. This is a criminal case, and we have a strong case."

The boy told authorities that the alleged incidents occurred on April 5 and 6 while he was visiting his father's home in Wheaton, Jones said. Police said they found weapons and explosives during a search of the house Friday morning, and later obtained a warrant for Adkinson's arrest.

Adkinson said yesterday that he has an assortment of firearms in his house given to him as gifts.

Adkinson was arrested Friday while traveling south on Rte. I-270 in Frederick County with Cathy Mayer, 33. He said yesterday that Mayer is his fiance and a client of his who says that she is the illegitimate daughter of late country singer Hank Williams.

Adkinson said that Mayer is a country-and-western singer who goes by the name of Jett Williams. She has filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit to recover what she regards as her share of copyright fees from Williams' son, Hank Williams Jr.

When state police arrested Adkinson and Mayer, a loaded .38-caliber revolver was found in the car, according to police. State police charged the pair with illegal possesion of a handgun. Mayer was released on personal recognizance, along with Adkinson.

Adkinson, who ran unsuccessfully for the Virginia legislature from southern Fairfax County in 1973, gained recognition in 1981 when President Reagan nominated him to serve on the Federal Trade Commission. The nomination later was withdrawn at Adkinson's request.