During a press conference on Wednesday, the former child actor — who was accompanied by attorney Lisa Bloom and former Charles in Charge costar Nicole Eggert — spoke candidly about the abuse he allegedly endured at the hands of Baio when he was an adolescent.
“I was sexually harassed by Scott Baio and ultimately assaulted by him between the ages of 12 and 15 years old,” Polinsky, 43, told reporters. “Getting the job on Charles in Charge when I was 11 was one of the most wonderful things that happened to me. It represented everything good about my life and my future. My excitement did not last long.”
Polinsky added, “Scott Baio began a power of abuse that was unrelenting. Mr. Baio repeatedly told me about gay sex acts that he told me I would grow up to perform. I would protest and ask him to stop saying these things, but he said it was for my own good. Scott told me of his sexual conquests with young girls and the costars of the show at the same time tried to convince me that I was unlovable, defective and branding me with the most vulgar words for homosexuals that exist. Scott pulled down my pants in front of over a hundred people and on another time he laughed as he cut a hole in the canvas wall on my private dressing room on set and exposed his genitals to me.”
He concluded, “One of the most painful memories of my childhood was when Scott and I were backstage waiting to enter the set for a scene. I faked a basketball to him – he got startled and out of anger he assaulted me by throwing a cup of hot tea in my face I believe I was being subjected to mental torture and retaliation for what I had seen. The abuse continued through the run of the show. The adults on set were aware of these things but were too scared of losing a job in a hit show to act.”
Last week, Polinsky provided a statement to The Talk which was read out while Eggert was on the show to talk about her sexual abuse allegations against the actor.
Eggert said on the show that Polinsky, who played Adam Powell on Charles in Charge, went with her to file to the police station when she filed a report against Baio and Polinsky also made his own police report supporting her allegations.
In addition to supporting the actress’ claims, Polinsky alleged he was physically abused by Baio, 57.
The Talk host Sara Gilbert became emotional reading his statement on his behalf, explaining, “He’s actually a dear friend of mine.”
“Working on the set of Charles in Charge from age 11 to 15 was no picnic, it was a toxic environment,” Polinsky said in the statement. “I witnessed Scott Baio acting inappropriately towards Nicole Eggert during my first year of working on the show. I walked in on them together behind the set. Nicole was on Scott’s lap and he did not appreciate my intrusion. He yelled at me and called me various homophobic slurs.”
He continued, “Growing up on the show I received regular verbal attacks, mental abuse and I also suffered a physical assault at the hands of Scott Baio. There is no excuse for his behavior. It is abhorrent.”
Eggert, who alleged via Twitter on Jan. 27 that Baio molested her beginning at age 14, claimed the alleged abuse “continued almost on a weekly basis for years.”
Baio has repeatedly denied Eggert’s claims, calling them “100 [percent] lies.”
“Why would I have a concern over something I didn’t do?” he said on Good Morning America. “Rather than take your case to social media, where people tend to beat up people like me, why not do it through the proper channels? You put up allegations like that, and it becomes like wildfire.”
Baio claimed that though he got along with Eggert, they were “never” alone together on the Charles in Charge set.
“I don’t know if you’ve ever been on a sitcom set, but on any given day — on every day, especially Charles in Charge, which was like a picnic every day, it was one of my favorite jobs I’ve ever done — there’s teachers, parents, family, crew, producers, my dad. So how any of this could have happened is absolutely impossible,” he said.
Baio has not responded to Polinsky’s allegations but will address them with his own press conference Wednesday.