Scott Baio's Reps Call Abuse Claims a "Media Witch Hunt"
"When you see a circumstance played out in a gigantic media tour, you have to speculate if the media itself is part of the goal," spokesperson Brian Glicklich said Wednesday in a press conference.
Scott Baio's legal representative and spokesperson responded to allegations of child abuse and sexual harassment from former Charles in Charge co-stars Alexander Polinsky and Nicole Eggert, made in a press conference earlier on Wednesday, during a press conference of their own. Baio, himself, was not present.
Spokesperson Brian Glicklich and legal rep Jennifer McGrath held the conference in his place, beginning by reading a statement from Baio, which read in part, “For reasons I don’t understand I am the victim of false claims that threaten everything precious in my life … Mostly, I’m stunned … I will not let this continue … I will use every ounce of strength I have to fight this."
McGrath then said that Polinsky “makes his claims in front of cameras” and noted that Eggert and Polinsky's attorney Lisa Bloom “defended Harvey Weinstein.” Bloom did advise Weinstein when allegations of sexual harassment first surfaced against the disgraced Hollywood mogul. She later withdrew from the legal team, saying, "I saw this as a unique opportunity to change the way these stories go. I was wrong. It turns out nobody is ready to hear an apology when a shocking story comes out."
Standing beside displayed pictures of Baio posing with Polinsky, Glicklich said that Eggert's claims are "undermined" by her past relationships with Baio, calling the allegations a "media witch hunt."
Questions were then opened to the floor. When asked why Baio was not present, Glicklich said the actor's "daughter just finished a very severe flu and there's a long-planned school party today."
"Scott denies every single claim of inappropriate behavior, and if you examine the claims made, they can be refuted with evidence," said Glicklich. "Frankly, if we go through all the individual accusations, we'll be here all afternoon. Scott denies all of them."
When asked why Baio wouldn't give an apology, which is what Eggert and Polinsky have asked for, Glicklich said, "You can't apologize for something that's not true."
McGrath said they "fully expect Baio to be cleared" by the open police investigations into the accusations. When asked why Polinsky and Eggert would make "false claims" and the motivations for their actions, Glicklich answered, "When you see a circumstance played out in a gigantic media tour, you have to speculate if the media itself is part of the goal."
"This is not a dog-and-pony show, this is an honest attempt to impact in the media," McGrath said. "Mr. Baio’s reputation is being harmed in the community. This is devastating to him. Mr. Polinsky's claims are devastating to him."
"I was sexually harassed by Scott Baio and ultimately assaulted by him between the ages of 12 to 15 years old," said Polinsky in a press conference earlier on Wednesday. He also traced the alleged abuse from Baio back to the child actor's first year working on the show when, at age 11, he walked in on Baio acting "sexual in nature" with 14-year-old Eggert, who was sitting on the adult star's lap.
Polinsky went on to detail "a pattern of abuse that was unrelenting" during his time on the show. He said that observing his co-star behaving in such a way with Eggert, someone so close to his age, ultimately sent him into a depression and he believes the ensuing harassment from Baio was "mental torture" in retaliation to what he had seen.
After voicing his support of Eggert when she and Baio first went public with their sides of the story last month, Polinsky filed a report with the Los Angeles Police Department's sexual assault unit on Feb. 6, both to corroborate the actress' claims against Baio and to detail his own.
Baio has previously denied Eggert's claims, saying she and Polinsky had "decided to team up against" him and told them both to go to the police if they had legitimate claims.