Scott Baio this afternoon denied all allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment made by two of his Charles in Charge co-stars earlier in the day, and says he will pursue all legal options against “anyone who has knowingly made false claims.”
Baio’s denials and legal threats were made by his civil attorney and a spokesman in his absence — Baio did not attend the press conference, his attorney Jennifer McGrath said, so that he could accompany his young daughter to a school party following her bout with the flu.
Earlier today, former Charles in Charge actors Nicole Eggert and Alexander Polinsky held their own press conference in the Woodland Hills office of attorney Lisa Bloom, with Polinsky adding his claims of homophobic bullying and other abuses by Baio to Eggert’s allegations of sexual abuse by Baio when she was a minor.
In a statement read by his spokesperson Brian Glicklich, Baio said “For reasons I don’t understand I am the target of false claims that threaten everything that’s important in my life. I’m hurt, and I’m angry, but mostly I am stunned that anyone could be so cruel as to attack not just me but my entire family with lies. I will not let this continue unchallenged, and will use every ounce of strength and faith in God that I have to defeat the people behind this. This story is just beginning to be told.”
McGrath said Baio will cooperate fully with a Los Angeles Police Department investigation into Eggert’s claims. Eggert and Polinsky met with LAPD detectives last week. Baio has also hired a criminal attorney, who was not present at today’s press conference.
“Alexander Polinsky, like Nicole Eggert, has made multiple inconsistent statements,” McGrath said, then described Bloom as having “just recently defended Harvey Weinstein.”
Glicklich and McGrath said that the charges made by Eggert and Polinsky have changed repeatedly in various tellings. Glicklich quoted an old interview with Eggert in which the actress said of her Charles in Charge days, “We definitely had a fun time and (Baio) definitely was a big part of my growing up.”
As a sort of visual aid, Baio’s team displayed a large, blown-up photograph of a smiling Baio and Polinsky arm in arm at a party seven years ago, at least a few years after Polinsky says he refused an apology from Baio.
Asked about Eggert’s claim this morning that she and Polinsky have witnesses to support their claims of Baio’s abusive behavior, Glicklich said, “We’ll believe it when we see it,” and added that Baio has his own witnesses who would “paint a very different picture” of life on the Charles in Charge set.
McGrath added that Baio’s team would “welcome” other eyewitness accounts of the Charles in Charge production, particularly “interactions between Mr. Baio and any of the other children.”
Baio has conceded a one-time sexual relationship with Eggert, but says she was 18 years old at the time. Eggert has claimed she lost her virginity to Baio at 17, and that she was only 14 when the actor, then in his 20s, began molesting her.