Nicole Eggert Opens Up About Scott Baio Sexual Abuse Claims
Former Charles in Charge star Nicole Eggert had her first interview since accusing her former co-star Scott Baio of sexual abuse when she was a minor with Megyn Kelly on Today.
Eggert and Baio first started filming Charles in Charge together in 1986. Eggert told Kelly that Baio immediately took to her and befriended her, and later began expressing his love for her. Eggert was 14 years old at the time, and Baio is over 11 years older than her.
“I was still 14, before my 15th birthday, and we were at his house in his car in his garage, and he reached over and he penetrated me with his finger,” Eggert said to Kelly. “And that is when the sexual touching and abuse started, after that.”
Eggert said instances of sexual abuse would happen quite often through the age of 16, and that there was a lot of fondling and groping on set, along with Baio trying to secretly kiss her.
She then told Kelly that she and Baio had sex in her home when she was 17 and Charles in Charge was still being filmed. The age of consent in California both at the time and now is 18.
Eggert first accused Baio in a series of now deleted tweets. She originally posted, “Ask Scott Baio what happened in his garage at his house when I was a minor. Creep.”
Baio hit back with a Facebook Live video in which he denied Eggert’s claims and said the two had sex when she was 18, not 17, and that Eggert had seduced him. He claimed his innocence by citing several interviews she had done in which she talked about their relationship innocently.
During his Facebook Live, Baio referred to several papers he had laid out on his desk, and posted each of them to his Facebook page. He later made a post saying he would address Eggert’s claims tomorrow on ABC’s Good Morning America.
“I will appear in the 1st hour on ABC’s Good Morning America from NYC tomorrow to answer Nicole Eggert’s false charges with evidence & facts,” Baio wrote on his page.
Kelly brought up Eggert’s past interviews — including one in particular with radio and talk show host Nik Richie — in which she’d made light of her relationship with Baio, and Eggert said she had never felt comfortable telling her story and that she had always lied about it.
“What my truth is, is that I wasn’t ready to tell my story,” Eggert responded. “For me, it was always protecting the show and protecting that legacy that nothing happened there. You know, that was my delusion, and that was my cover up always.”
Baio had discussed Eggert’s interview with Richie on his livestream, and Richie posted a statement to his website, The Dirty, saying that the interview, she was distraught and an emotional wreck, and that she told him that her sexual encounter with Baio was much worse than what she had said on air.
“She said, ‘he molested me as a child and I didn’t know any better,’” Richie wrote. “I can vividly remember that statement. It’s not one you would forget. She told me more details that I cannot recall now since this was long ago. She was visibly shaken and her eyes were watering. I apologized for pushing her too hard and should have been more sympathetic (but I wanted to break the story of them having sex). I gave her a hug and changed the topic to our daughters to make her smile. I wish now I had done more.”
Later on Today, Eggert’s attorney Lisa Bloom joined her and Kelly, where Kelly asked if Eggert was a willing participant to Baio’s advances.
“I was a willing participant to an extent,” Eggert said. “There was a lot of manipulation that went into it. It wasn’t a hold me down, rape me kind of situation, no, not at all. But I was 17.”
Another of Eggert and Baio’s Charles in Charge co-stars, Alexander Polinsky, tweeted that he had also been abused on set of the show, though the tweet was deleted. He told Megyn Kelly Today that he still stands behind his tweets, however he did not experience sexual abuse and his abuse did not come from Baio.
“For 30 years I’ve held in the embarrassment and shame of being abused daily on the set of Charles in Charge. I had to watch other children be abused as well,” Polinsky had tweeted. “It was devastating, destroyed me personally and made me an angry person for many years. I’m not embarrassed anymore.”
He also said he saw inappropriate cuddling between Eggert and Baio on set.
Another actor, Adam Carl, had been on an episode of Charles in Charge in 1988, and had tweeted his support to Eggert, saying, “When I worked on Charles In Charge in ‘88, I sat with you while you cried about that abusive A——. I know you’re telling the truth and I’m so glad to see you speaking out.”
Baio has said that if Eggert and Polinksy have actual claims, they should both file police reports. Bloom, Eggert’s lawyer, said that she definitely has options, including the option to sue for defamation.
“She has a possible civil case, because it’s a long statute of limitations when you are under the age of 18 when the sexual abuse occurred, and that’s what it is — sexual abuse,” Bloom said.