Fred Willard Denies Lewd Conduct Allegations: 'It Did Not Happen'
Fred Willard is denying allegations that he exposed himself and held his penis while watching an adult movie at an L.A. theater.
The 72-year old was arrested Wednesday during a routine police search of the Tiki Theater, where one of the films being shown was a XXX parody of Lifetime's Jennifer Love Hewitt series The Client List, according to TMZ. He was brought into custody and released soon after.
On Thursday afternoon, Willard was stopped by a TMZ cameraman on his way into his lawyer's office. The actor denied the allegations, calling it a "big misunderstanding."
"It did not happen," he said, adding that a "strange situation" led him to that theater.
The actor added that he was treated well by the police who took him into custody.
"I have great respect for them," he said. "It's a difference of opinion. It's all being straightened out as we speak."
Paul Takakjian, Willard's lawyer, previously said his client did nothing wrong and will fight the charge.
"With all due respect to the individual officer, our belief is that Fred did nothing in any violation of any law," Takakjian said in a statement. "We will be working vigorously to clear his name in this matter."
After news of Willard's arrest broke, PBS fired him as host of its new competition-reality show Market Warriors, a spinoff of Antiques Roadshow that premiered Monday.
"Given the unfortunate news reported today, effective immediately, Fred Willard no longer will be involved with the Market Warriors series," WGBH spokeswoman Jeanne Hopkins said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
Antiques Roadshow host Mark Walberg will record new narration for the Market Warriors episodes that already have been shot.