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Scott Baio took his turn in front of the morning show cameras Wednesday, using ABC’s Good Morning America as his forum to deny sexual abuse claims that have been leveled against him by his former Charles in Charge co-star Nicole Eggert.
One day prior, Eggert articulated claims she had made on Twitter over the weekend during an appearance on rival network NBC’s Megyn Kelly Today. The actress, 47, said that Baio sexually abused her “probably once a week” when she was 14 through 16 while the pair starred together on the family sitcom.
On Wednesday, Baio, who was joined by his publicist for the sit-down, was continually pressed by ABC anchor Amy Robach on Eggert’s claims. He began by telling the ABC anchor that he has “proof” that the first time they had sex was when Eggert was 18, not 17 as she alleges.
Baio then repeated a claim he previously made during a Facebook Live video that he had posted, with his wife, in response to Eggert’s tweets over the weekend. Referencing a previous on-air interview Eggert made on The Dirty, where she told host Nik Richie that the pair had sex “long after” the show ended, Baio pointed out that when Charles in Charge ended in the fall of 1990, Eggert would have been at least 18.
During her interview with Megyn Kelly, however, Eggert confessed that she had lied in previous interviews, including the one with Richie, in order to cover up the shame she felt from the sexual abuse and to protect the “legacy” of their show. She also said Baio had warned her to stay silent during their first alleged sexual encounter: “He also was telling me, ‘You can’t tell anybody, this is illegal, I’ll go to jail. The show will be over….’ That’s intimidating, especially when you’re that young.”
When Robach pressed Baio on that, he said, “I’m trying to figure out which time she’s lying and which time she’s not lying, because the story seems to change quite a bit and I can’t keep up with her, quite honestly.”
Richie, who shares a manager with Eggert, provided a statement to both Kelly and to GMA, saying, “Nicole was distraught after the interview…. She told me it was much worse than she described on air. She said, ‘he molested me as a child and I didn’t know any better.’ I can vividly remember that statement, it’s not one you would forget.”
After reading Baio the statement, Robach asked him plainly: “What happened with you and Nicole when she was 14, 15, 16?”
Baio replied, “Absolutely nothing.”
He described the set as being “like a picnic every day” and listed the safety net that he said was provided.
“Her story keeps changing. She makes up new things,” he said. “I mean this sincerely, [the show] was one of the most fun things I’ve ever done. [She was a] talented girl. We had a great time on the set. Everybody liked each other. Everybody got along. It was impossible, because when a child is on a set they are either in school or they’re on the set with the teacher and their parents.”
Eggert had disagreed with that opinion during her Megyn Kelly appearance. She also had said that the alleged abuse often happened at Baio’s house.
Baio adamantly told Robach that he was never alone with Eggert on set. When asked about seeing her off the set, he said he saw her around the studio lot.
Then to Eggert’s claim that the first alleged molestation happened in Baio’s garage, the actor appeared taken aback and said with a laugh, “I have no idea what that means.”
Another Charles in Charge co-star, Alexander Polinsky, and a former guest star, Adam Carl, have supported Eggert’s claims.
“I don’t know what they’re saying, I have no idea [if they are lying]. I have no idea why they are saying it,” Baio told the anchor about Polinsky, to whom he had previously sent a legal letter, and Carl. “And by the way, Nicole and I were friends after our only sexual encounter, where she aggressively sought me out because she wanted me to be her first so that she would be good for her boyfriend — those were her words.”
Baio also said that, should Eggert go to the police: “Why would I have a concern over something I didn’t do?”
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