"For reasons I don’t understand, I am the target of false claims that threaten everything that is important in my life," the actor said in a statement read by his spokesperson and attorney
Scott Baio is taking a stand.
During a press conference on Wednesday, Scott Baio denied the sexual harassment and abuse claims made against him by his former Charles in Charge costars Nicole Eggert and Alexander Polinsky via a statement read by his spokesperson Brian Glicklich and civil attorney Jennifer McGrath.
“For reasons I don’t understand, I am the target of false claims that threaten everything that is important in my life. I am hurt and I am angry. But mostly, I am stunned that anyone could be so cruel as to attack not just me, but my entire family with lies,” Baio said in a statement read by Glicklich. “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.”
Baio, 57, was not in attendance due to a prior obligation at his daughter’s school.
McGrath said, “While we would have preferred to present this and other evidence privately to authorities, Eggert and Polinsky’s continual hunger for publicity compels us to advise that we also have multiple statements from witnesses that will not only completely discredit Eggert’s claims, but paint them in an entirely different light.”
She added, “When the police investigation concludes, and Scott is totally cleared of any wrong doing, he will pursue any and all legal options as to anyone who knowingly made false statements against him.”
Just hours before, Polinsky — who was accompanied by attorney Lisa Bloom and Eggert — spoke candidly during a press conference 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.”
RELATED VIDEO: Charles in Charge’s Alexander Polinsky Accuses Scott Baio of Physical Assault & Mental Abuse
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 previously 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.