Nicole Eggert gave new details Tuesday about the molestation she says she experienced at the hands of Scott Baio while they both starred in the 1980s sitcom “Charles in Charge.”
During an appearance on NBC’s “Megyn Kelly Today,” Eggert became emotional as she described how Baio allegedly began sexually abusing her when she was 14 years old and he was 26. She said Baio continued to molest her “probably once a week” until she was 16.
“We started filming the show in September of ’86 and he immediately took to me and befriended me and earned my trust,” Eggert said. “And then he started expressing his love for me and... talking about marriage in the future.”
“I was still 14, before my 15th birthday,” she said. “We were at his house in his car, in his garage, and he reached over and he penetrated me with his finger. And that is when the sexual touching and abuse started after that... He was also telling me, ‘You can’t tell anybody. This is illegal. I’ll go to jail. The show will be over.’”
Eggert’s interview with Kelly was her first TV appearance since she accused Baio in a series of tweets Saturday of being a “creep” when she was a minor.
Eggert said Tuesday that she lost her virginity to Baio when she was 17, which would have been illegal since the age of consent in California is 18. She first publicly spoke about this around 2012.
Baio responded to Eggert’s tweets in a 16-minute Facebook Live video on Saturday, vehemently denying the allegations and claiming he could prove Eggert was 18 when they had sex.
“My reputation is being damaged, my family is being put through this, and I am done,” Baio said in the video. “What I am being accused of is horrible... She’s my best friend in the world and now all of a sudden I’m the boogeyman.”
Baio, on “Good Morning America” on Wednesday, again denied Eggert was underage during their encounters. He also questioned Eggert’s credibility because she admitted changing her timeline.
Eggert, in a 2013 interview with Nik Richie of The Dirty, said she had sex with Baio after “Charles in Charge” had ended and she was 17. Baio has since pointed out that the show ended in late 1990, when Eggert was 18.
“I’m trying to figure out which time she’s lying and which time she’s not lying because the story seems to change a bit, and I can’t keep up with it, quite honestly,” Baio said on Wednesday.
Eggert has admitted that she lied in her interview with Richie, explaining that she was worried about damaging the reputation of “Charles in Charge.”
She acknowledged on Tuesday that she had appeared on Baio’s reality show, “Scott Baio Is 45...and Single,” in 2007, but said it was to address his issues with “womanizing.” She also addressed a 2013 interview with Yahoo in which she said she would “love” to work with Baio again.
“There are a lot of weird, strange rumors about things that went on between us, but we became really good friends and everything is way more innocent than it was made out to be,” Eggert told Yahoo then.
But Eggert said Tuesday that she wasn’t ready to come forward until recently.
“Shame plays such a weird part and such a strong voice, and you lie,” Eggert said. “I didn’t want anyone to look at me and think I was weak.”
Eggert said she told a few “close, close friends” about the alleged molestation at the time. But, she said, they didn’t have “a good reaction.”
Alexander Polinsky, who also starred in “Charles in Charge,” told “Megyn Kelly Today” that he had witnessed “inappropriate cuddling” between Eggert and Baio on the set.
“Everybody knew the attention that he gave me,” Eggert said. “Everybody was suspect of that... It wasn’t until I was a bit older that I realized, this is not love.”
Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.
This article has been updated to include Baio’s comments on “Good Morning America.”