From The Hollywood Reporter
Alexander Polinsky is alleging child abuse and sexual harassment at the hands of Charles in Charge star Scott Baio, the second of Baio's co-stars on the hit '80s sitcom to make such claims.
"I was sexually harassed by Scott Baio and ultimately assaulted by him between the ages of 12 to 15 years old," said Polinsky, who spoke about his allegations against Baio for the first time on Wednesday during a press conference with Hollywood attorney Lisa Bloom. The pair were joined by Nicole Eggert, Polinsky's Charles in Charge co-star, who has accused Baio of sexually abusing her as a minor and who was now on hand to support Polinsky's claims.
Polinsky 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.
"I was so naive, I innocently hopped on his lap expecting to hear a story about Fonzie or Happy Days," said Polinsky of the TV show's megastar. "Scott Baio was a hero to me. Instead of telling us a story, Scott immediately threw me off him and began angrily calling me 'faggot' while Nicole laughed."
Polinsky went on to detail "a pattern of abuse that was unrelenting" during his time on the show, which aired in syndication for four years. 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. He now believes the ensuing harassment from Baio was "mental torture" in retaliation to what he had seen.
According to Polinsky, Baio would describe gay sex acts to Polinsky and share his "sexual conquests with young girls and co-stars." He also alleges that homophobic slurs became a "running gag" on set. "Scott pulled down my pants in front of over 100 people," Polinsky 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 time when the pair were backstage and Polinsky startled Baio, he "assaulted me by throwing a burning hot cup of tea in my face," said Polinsky. Baio later apologized, but the alleged abuse continued, behavior that Polinsky called "sexual-themed hazing."
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