Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
UPDATE at 2:10 p.m. PT: Hours after Alexander Polinsky spoke, Baio's rep told reporters that "Scott denies every single claim of inappropriate behavior."
Scott Baio is now facing sexual misconduct allegations from a second Charles in Charge co-star, Alexander Polinsky, who claims the actor bullied him with physical abuse and homophobic slurs. Baio's lawyer denied the allegations.
Last month, co-star Nicole Eggert, 46, accused Baio, who played her and Polinksy's characters' nanny on the '80s sitcom, of sexually abusing her when she was a minor. He denied her claims. Last week, she went to the police to report sexual misconduct against the 57-year-old actor and they began investigating her allegations. A day later, Polinsky, 43, said in a statement read on The Talk that he once walked in on Eggert sitting on Baio's lap behind the show's set and that the actor yelled at him and calling him homophobic slurs. He said that during their time on the show, he received regular "mental abuse" and "also suffered a physical assault at the hands of Scott Baio."
On Wednesday, Polinsky and Eggert appeared together at a press conference with her lawyer, famed celebrity attorney Lisa Bloom, during which the actor elaborated on his alleged encounters with Baio and also accused him of sexual harassment against him.
"I was sexually harassed by Scott Baio and ultimately assaulted by him between the ages of 12 and 15 years old," Polinsky said. "Getting the job on Charles in Charge when I was 11 was one of the most wonderful things that had ever happened to me. It represented everything good about my life and my future. My excitement did not last long."
"During the first year of the show, when I was 11 or 12, I observed Scott with our co-star Nicole on his lap backstage," he said. "I was so naive, I innocently hopped on his lap, expecting to hear a story about Fonzie or Happy Days or something awesome. Scott Baio was a hero to me. I was 11 years old. Instead of telling us a story, Scott immediately threw me off him and began angrily calling me 'f----t' while Nicole laughed."
Polinsky said he felt "confusion, shame and then fear" when he realized he had judged the situation wrong, adding, "It was not innocent. It was sexual in nature."
Eggert said that after Polinsky "walked in on me and Scott being intimate on his lap, and he was thrown to the ground, this is when all the abuse began." She said she feels horrible and guilty that she didn't stand up for Polinsky at the time.
"Scott Baio began a pattern of abuse that was unrelenting," he continued. "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 co-stars of the show. At the same time, [he] 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 100 people," he said. "Another time, he laughed as he cut a hole in the canvas wall of my private dressing room on set and exposed his genitals to me. 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 in anger, he assaulted me by throwing a burning hot cup of tea in my face."
Polinsky said he believes he was "being subjected to mental torture and retaliation" for what he had seen and that Baio's "abuse" continued through the run of the show.
"Alex was consistently picked on, tripped, pushed around berated with horrendous, horrendous homosexual slurs, all because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time and witnessed something he was not supposed to see," Eggert told reporters.
Polinsky said Baio called him 10 years ago and apologized for "very basic things he had said," but Polinsky did not accept the apology and was "not ready" to hear it. He said he now wants a public apology from the actor for both himself and for Eggert.
Baio's civil attorney noted to reporters on Wednesday how there are publicity photos of both actors posing together at Scott's 50th birthday party seven years ago.
—Reporting by Alli Rosenbloom