Two former child actors accuse Happy Days star Scott Baio of sexual abuse

Baio, right, with his Joannie Loves Chachi co-star Erin Moran, who is not involved in the scandal - Rex Features
Baio, right, with his Joannie Loves Chachi co-star Erin Moran, who is not involved in the scandal - Rex Features

Scott Baio, who played Chachi in Happy Days, has been accused of abusing two of his Charles In Charge co-stars while they were minors. 

Baio came to fame as Bugsy Malone at the age of 16 before joining Happy Days. His character Chachi had his own spin-off, Joannie Loves Chachi, and Baoi then starred in Charles In Charge, where he played a college student who lived with a family and babysat their children. 

The children were played by Nicole Eggert, who joined the show when she was 14, and Alexander Polinsky, who was 11. Both have come forward to accuse Baoi of sexual and violent abuse. 

It was public knowledge that Baio had dated Eggert, who was 11 years his junior, during the 1980s, but their relationship has been cast in a darker light after she filed a police report against him alleging that he sexually abused her from the age of 14, and had sex with her when she was too young to consent. 

Polinsky was with her when she spoke to officers on Tuesday, confirming her story and adding that he had been bullied by Baio, who was in his late 20s during Charles In Charge.  

Baio in a suit speaking at the opening day of the Republican National Convention 2016 in Cleveland. - Credit:  J. Scott Applewhite
Baio has denied all claims of underage sexual contact with Eggert Credit: J. Scott Applewhite

Eggert's attorney gave a statement to The Hollywood Reporter yesterday explaining:"Nicole answered all of their questions for over an hour and told her story of sexual abuse by Scott Baio when she was a minor. A witness, Alexander Polinsky, appeared as well and told the detectives about inappropriate touching he witnessed, as well as his own allegations of bullying by Scott Baio."

Eggert has also made allegations against Baio on social media and several talk shows. She recently tweeted "Ask @scottbaio what happened in his garage at his house when I was a minor. Creep."

On an episode of Megyn Kelly Today, Eggert said that he sexually abused her "probably once a week" between the ages of 14 and 16, and that she lost her virginity to him at 17. The age of consent in California is 18. In an interview for The Talk, she said the abuse began when she was “14 years old, 1986". 

"And before I was 15 years old," she continued, "he had me at his home, in his car, in his garage and he penetrated my vagina with his finger. This is where it began and this continued almost on a weekly basis for years. Of course, the abuse progressed from there quite a bit although I remained a virgin until I was 17."

Nicole Eggert speaking to journalist Megyn Kelly - Credit:  NBCUniversal
Nicole Eggert speaking to journalist Megyn Kelly Credit: NBCUniversal

Polinsky also gave a statement to The Talk which claimed that "working on the set of Charles in Charge from age 11 to 15 was no picnic". He described it as "a toxic environment" and said "I witnessed Scott Baio acting inappropriately towards Nicole Eggert during my first year of working on the show. I walked in on them together behind the set. Nicole was on Scott’s lap and he did not appreciate my intrusion. He yelled at me and called me various homophobic slurs."

Polinsky continued: "Growing up on the show I received regular verbal attacks, mental abuse and I also suffered a physical assault at the hands of Scott Baio. There is no excuse for his behavior. It is abhorrent."

Baio has repeatedly denied Eggert's claims both on Facebook and in television interviews. An interview that Eggert gave to American television personality Dr Oz, in which she detailed the alleged abuse, was shelved after Baio's representative told the show: "Nicole Eggert was well past the age of 18 when she came to Scott Baio looking for a sexual experience. Given this, her other vague claims, which Scott has consistently denied, cannot have any merit."