David Hasselhoff's longtime struggle with alcoholism has apparently been a family affair.
A months-old videotape surfaced Thursday showing the former Baywatch star intoxicated and incoherent. The clip was shot by the elder of Hasselhoff and ex-wife Pamela Bach's two children, and its release has turned the actor into a mean, lean, damage-control machine.
On Friday, Hasselhoff called his ex out for making false accusations, including claims that he beat on her and their daughters, saying her conduct is "designed to punish" him. He also reiterated that Bach has tested positive for drugs in the past and that he hopes she's getting the help "she so desperately needs."
"Recent events have made it impossible for me to continue to remain silent," he said in a lengthy statement. "This latest claim is not only utterly false, but it is also obscene. Our daughters are outraged by the falsity of their mother's claims and urged me to allow them to go to the press to challenge [them]...Her claims that I every physically abused her or our children are ludicrous...I look forward to the day that our marital litigation is behind me, so that our children and I can move forward with our lives in peace."
Hasselhoff's battle with substance abuse is well-documented in print, but until yesterday hasn't been quite so apparent, image-wise.
"I am a recovering alcoholic. Despite [the fact] that I have been going through a painful divorce and...have recently been separated from my children due to my work, I have been successfully dealing with my issue," Hasselhoff had said Thursday after the tape showing him drunk was aired by Extra, Entertainment Tonight and The Insider.
"Unfortunately, I did have a brief relapse, but part of recovery is relapse. Because of my honest and positive relationship with my children, who were concerned for my well-being, there was a tape made when I had a relapse to show me what I was like. I have seen the tape. I have learned from it, and I am back on my game. I hope that someone else will learn from the tape, as I have. I thank God for the love and concern from my children."
In an exclusive interview with E! News anchor Ryan Seacrest, Hasselhoff said that, contrary to earlier reports, he did not ask to be recorded and suggested the video was leaked, Alec Baldwin-esque, to damage his relationship with his kids.
Hasselhoff also told Seacrest that he has "had it with lawyers" and his next step was "hiring an exorcist."
"All I want to do is entertain," Hasselhoff added.
It is 16-year-old Taylor Ann Hasselhoff who can be heard on camera begging her father, who's shirtless and sitting on the floor in his Las Vegas residence, to quit boozing.
"Dad, look what this is doing to you," the teenager says. "You have to stop drinking alcohol, promise me you won't drink anymore."
"The doctor is coming over here in the morning to check your alcohol level. If you have any alcohol in your system, you are going to be fired from the show." Hasselhoff has been starring as flamboyant director Roger De Bris in the Vegas version of The Producers.
On tape, the jeans-clad actor—who has been battling Bach over custody and financial issues for more than a year despite the fact that their divorce was finalized last summer—struggles to eat a hamburger and explain what knocked him off the wagon.
" 'Cause, I'm lonely," the 54-year-old America's Got Talent judge said when asked why he continues to "do this" to himself. "I have trouble in my life." "You have me," Taylor Ann responds. "I don't have you in my life. Bulls--t, I don't have you...I don't have you," Hasselhoff says.
To which his daughter says, "You are throwing your life away. It is stupid."
Hasselhoff told Seacrest that Taylor Ann called last night and said that she "couldn't believe [the tape] had been released."
"I thank God for the love and concern from my daughters," Hasselhoff said. "The tape was never meant to become public, but got into the hands of individuals who are not worthy of mentioning, who maliciously released the tape for their own self purpose."
As for who aired the dirty laundry, Bach's attorney, Debra Opri, has said that neither she nor her client had even seen the tape, let alone released it.
"Although Mr. Hasselhoff has publicly admitted the truthfulness and authenticity of a video showing him severely intoxicated in the presence of his minor daughter while she was in his custody, his private conduct behind the scenes continues to be deplorable in that he refuses to accept responsibility for his actions by transferring blame to his ex-wife," Opri said in a statement Friday.
"This is the behavior of a man in denial who arrogantly spins his explanations to the media in an attempt to save face. The spinning is over. While his continuing abuse of alcohol violates court orders, more importantly it is harming thier children's lives in what has become an all out 'hate fest' by Mr. Hasselhoff against his ex-wife."
On Tuesday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mark Juhas granted Bach a monthlong postponement of a hearing at which a therapist is expected to testify about the well-being of the ex-couple's 14-year-old daughter, Hayley, who has been living with her mom and sister.
The hearing was rescheduled for June 1. Hasselhoff's lawyer, Melvin Goodman, told the judge that the psychologist has concluded that Hayley's living situation isn't working for her and that the girl might be better off staying with her father. Bach and her former husband currently have joint custody, but all is obviously not right yet in the house that Baywatch built.
"It's a year and a half of hell that me and my daughters have been through," Bach told ET earlier this week.