Nicole Eggert last night said she contemplated suicide as she came to terms with the alleged sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of Scott Baio.
The former Baywatch actress has told police she was molested by her Charles in Charge co-star when she was just 14.
She said the alleged abuse began in 1986 on the set of the television show she worked on with Baio, who was then 25, and occurred ‘once a week’ until she turned 16.
At age 15, struggling to cope, she found herself on the edge of a bridge over the Los Angeles River convincing herself not to jump, she told Entertainment Tonight.
Eggert had previously revealed that the two did not have sexual intercourse until she was 17 and Baio was 28, saying that she was a willing participant at that time.
The sex could not have been consensual however under California law, which states that sex with an individual under 18 by a person over 18 is statutory rape.
Baio claims that Eggert was 18 when the two had sex.
In an interview with Kevin Frazier, Eggert opened up about what she described as her first sexual experience.
She said: ‘For so long I hid it because I thought because I didn’t fight back, and because he wasn’t holding me down, that that made it OK – that I was to blame as well.
‘In those days I had moments of being so hurt and so upset, and even thoughts of ending my life.’
Eggert recalled standing on the bridge in Studio City, looking down and crying.
‘I’m sobbing and I looked at it,’ she said, ‘And I said to myself, “It’s not a legit bridge, you’re not going to die, you’re going to break a lot of bones and you’re not even going to kill yourself. Get home.”‘
A spokesman for Baio told ET the actor was glad Eggert had gone to the police over the claims, because it will give him a chance to clear his name.
The representative said the actress had made ‘ever-changing’ amendments to her story, which Baio claims is ‘false and baseless’.
Brian Glicklich, a spokesman for Baio, said: ‘We are genuinely appalled that Nicole Eggert continues to treat the police and the district attorney as though they are part of her personal publicity campaign.’
She was interviewed by the LAPD’s Sexual Assault Section on Tuesday morning with her attorney Lisa Bloom and Alexander Polinsky, who also starred on Charles in Charge, was also present at the meeting.
Eggert had said just a few days prior to her interview with LAPD that she had ‘five to six’ on-set witnesses who could help corroborate her allegations.
She was also asked on Friday what it was like to get the support of Rose McGowan.
The actress and director posted a tweet last Wednesday in which she applauded Eggert for coming forward and said: ‘We hold you in our light.’
Eggert was quick to point out however that McGowan was just one of many women in the industry who have been subjected to sexual assault, before giving an update in her own case.
‘I woke up to messages from five or six more on-set witnesses,’ said Eggert.
When asked if she believed there might be other victims, Eggert said: ‘I can’t comment, but if there are I hope they have the courage to come forward and I will stand by them.’
Eggert detailed the difficulty she has been having while she tries to come to terms with Baio’s alleged molestation of her, which began when she was just 14, on an episode of The Dr Oz Show this week.
‘It’s, you know…strange. It makes sense…to me it makes sense, but as I’m going through this process, I’ve never talked about this so much before, you know?’ said Eggert of her emotional state during an interview with Dr. Oz on Wednesday.
‘This is something that’s…you know, I’m also working through it and other memories are coming up for me. It’s been a long time.’
Eggert then became emotional, fighting back tears as she said: ‘So, you know, to say I have everything down and I have it perfect wrapped up in this tiny little box, it’s just not…reality.
‘I was 17, I’ve always said I was 17, and that still doesn’t change the fact that everything happened up until then.’
When asked about the alleged abuse, Eggert said: ‘I knew it was wrong, I knew all along all of it was wrong, because I was constantly reminded that it had to be a secret and whenever anybody asks you to keep a secret it’s wrong, yet being a teenager and going through puberty and all of that it… you…I sort of stayed in it and just kept quiet.’
Baio, meanwhile, appeared on Good Morning America to deny allegations that he sexually abused Eggert.
The actor did not offer any proof to discredit Eggert’s claims, but did demand that she stop with her allegations for the sake of his family.
‘Why somebody would come after me, my reputation and stop me from doing something that I love doing … and more important than that is my wife and I have a 10-year-old daughter,’ said Baio, who showed no hint of emotion during the interview.
‘And my 10-year-old daughter does not need to be hearing about this from friends at school, these false allegations. Her job is not to defend me. My job is to defend my daughter. Her job is to be 10 years old and that’s why this has got to stop.’
He also shared a tweet from January 2017 of Eggert responding to a fan asking where Baio was during a Charles in Charge cast reunion by writing: ‘Yes – we were missing Scott!’
Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Kristy Swanson also took to Twitter to share her thoughts, writing: ‘Shame on you @NicoleEggert to stab @ScottBaio honey you are driven by politics it’s SO obvious! Stop it now! You are ridiculous!’
Baio, who appeared on GMA alongside his lawyer, began the interview by denying that Eggert was 17 on the one occasion the two both admit to having sex.
The actor says that Eggert herself confirmed this initially in an interview with The Dirty – having said she was 18 at the time.
Amy Robach then pushed back on Baio, stating: ‘Now she says that she lied at the time to protect the show because that’s what she thought she needed to do.’
Baio responded by saying: ‘So I’m trying to figure out which time she’s lying and which time she’s not lying because the story seems to change quite a bit. And I can’t keep up with her quite honestly.’
Then Robach again pressed Baio, pointing out the statement given by the founder of The Dirty, who revealed Eggert had broken down and told him all about the alleged assaults after that interview.
‘What happened with you and Nicole when she was 14, 15, 16?’, asked Robach.
‘Absolutely nothing,’ said Baio.
‘And I find it interesting, Amy, that the moment that her first allegation that we had sex when she was 17 – which is not true – as soon as that was proven to be 100 percent false, she comes up with a new story where something happened once a week for years.’
Baio went on to say a weekly assault would have been impossible on the set of a sitcom, where ‘there’s teachers, parents, family, crew, producers, and the actor’s own father’.
‘I don’t know how anybody can believe what she’s saying when her first allegation of having sex when she was 17 had been proven to be 100% false and her story keeps changing,’ said Baio.
‘She makes up new things. And by the way, I’m not the first person she’s done this to.’
Robach then went through each of Eggert’s claims and Baio categorized them all as false, but offered up nothing more than a denial.
Then, Robach pointed out that people on set did say they noticed something between Eggert and the sitcom’s leading man.
‘Alex [Polinsky] who played Nicole’s brother reportedly said he witnessed inappropriate cuddling between you and Nicole on the set and then Adam Karl who is credited with one appearance on the show tweeted he remembers her crying about you. Why do you think they’re saying that? Are they lying too?’, asked Robach.
‘I don’t know what they’re saying. I have no idea. I don’t know why they’re saying it. I don’t – there were so many people on that set,’ said Baio.
‘Nicole and I were friends after our only sexual encounter. She aggressively sought me out because she wanted me to be her first so that she would be good for her boyfriend, those are her words.’
The actress said the sexual abuse began when she was 14 back in 1986 on the set of Charles in Charge.
‘He immediately took to me and befriended me and earned my trust. And then he started expressing his love for me. And talking about marriage in the future,’ said Eggert on Megyn Kelly Today.
‘And then I was still 14, before my 15th birthday, we were at his house in his car in his garage. And that is when the sexual touching and abuse started after that.’
She went on to claim that these incidents ‘probably happened once a week’ until she was 16, along with kissing and groping that she believes the pair’s co-stars on the program saw at the time.
‘I had never experienced anything like that before either, so he was playing on not only my emotions but my hormones and all of those things,’ said Eggert, now 46.
‘And the issue with him is that he was our boss. And he was telling me, you know, ‘You can’t tell anybody, this is illegal, I’ll go to jail. The show will be over. Everybody will be sued,” you know? “You’ll be out of a job, you’ll ruin everybody’s life.’
Eggert then added: ‘It’s scary. It’s intimidating, especially when you’re that young.’
As for the producers and other actors on set, Eggert said they had to be aware of the kissing and groping but she does not think they knew about the sexual abuse.
‘There was a bit of like — this person loves me. I trust this person. And that he cares about me and I’m safe,’ said Eggert of her feelings for Baio at the time.
‘And it wasn’t until, you know, getting a little bit older that I started to realize this was not — this is not love.’
She said that the two did not have sexual intercourse until she was 17 and Baio was 28, and that she only told a few close friends at the time of the initial abuse.
Baio disputes this as well and says Eggert was 18, which is the legal age of consent in the state.
He provided proof of that in the form of an interview that Eggert did with The Dirty, in which she said that it was long after the show wrapped in 1990 when she and Baio had sex.
Eggert explained why she had kept this a secret for so long, and why she stressed in the past that she had never had sexual contact with Baio until she was of age.
‘But my truth is I wasn’t ready to tell my story and for me it was protecting the show and protecting that whole legacy that nothing happened there,’ Eggert told Kelly.
‘That was my delusion and that was my cover-up always. And, you know, that’s not the first time I covered it up. I always lied about it.’
Now, Eggert wishes she could go back and tell her younger self to not be ashamed of what had happened, and let her know it was not her fault.
‘Shame plays a weird part and a strong voice. You lie,’ said Eggert.
‘I didn’t want anybody to look at me and think I was weak. I didn’t want anybody to think, oh, victim. It’s not until now that I see other people coming forward and how many women I talk to that this has happened to. It’s more common than not, unfortunately.’
Eggert said that her interactions and conversations with these women have also helped her realize her alleged assault is not ‘gross or embarrassing.’
Kelly then asked Eggert to explain why if she had endured this abuse she agreed to go on Baio’s reality show back in 2007, giving the impression that the two were friends.
‘Well, the reality show was about him having therapy for womanizing. That’s what people don’t understand. I went on there to call him out on some of the women he mistreated on our set,’ said Eggert.
‘That’s what that appearance was about. So, you know, yeah, I appeared on it. But it wasn’t a positive oh, let’s go, you know, have ice cream. It was about the women.’
She then was asked about why she denied underage relations with Baio while being interviewed by The Dirty.
‘I’m good at covering up. I got really good at it. Really good at bearing it and putting it away in a box and saying, no, that’s not me. That didn’t happen to me,’ said Eggert.
It was then revealed that Nik Richie, the founder of The Dirty who conducted that interview, had released a statement backing up Eggert’s claim.
Kelly read it on air, pointing out beforehand that the two do share a manager.
‘I remember the day that Nicole Eggert did the interview, and she was distraught after the interview. She was an emotional wreck. She said it was much worse than she had described on air,’ read the statement.
‘She said, he molested me as a child and I didn’t know any better.’
Kelly then asked Eggert: ‘When you left that radio interview, is that true? Were you distraught? What are you feeling?’
Eggert responded by saying it was at that moment she realized she need to tell the truth and stop protecting other people.
She later spoke about the first time she had intercourse with Baio, revealing: ‘It was in my house, and in my spare bedroom and he laid down a towel and it happened there.’
Baio told a different story in a video posted to Facebook over the weekend.
‘I remember her calling me and asking me to come over and coming in my house one time, and seducing me,’ said Baio.
‘Any normal heterosexual, red-blooded American guy, the outcome would have been the same.’
That video was posted along with what Baio claims is evidence of Eggert’s deception on his Facebook account, where he wrote: ‘Nicole Eggert has been claiming I had sex with her before she was 18 at least since 2013. She is probably wrong, and because we have been telling her that since last year without results, our only conclusion is that she is deliberately lying.’
Baio’s evidence consisted of highlighted dates meant to show that Eggert is lying based on the comments she made to The Dirty and a large number of legal letters demanding silence from Eggert and fellow Charles in Charge castmate Alex Polinsky.
Polinsky said that he saw Baio acting affectionate with Eggert on set in a tweet that was since deleted.
He also said that he was abused on set, but not by Baio.
‘I don’t know what else to put out there,’ said Baio in his Facebook video.
‘She’s my best friend in the world, then all of a sudden I’m the bogeyman.’
SOURCE: Daily Mail – Gareth Davis, Chris Spargo