In the wake of Nicole Eggert’s bombshell allegations that her former “Charles in Charge” cast mate and star of the show Scott Baio had sexually assaulted her while she was a minor, Eggert was invited by Megyn Kelly to share her story on NBC’s “TODAY.”
Eggert began her account by describing how she fell victim to Baio’s alleged predatory behavior when she was just 14. “He immediately took to me and befriended me and earned my trust. He expressed his love for me and talked about marriage in the future. And then, before my 15th birthday, 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.”
Kelly the reminded the audience that the age of consent in California is and was 18. Eggert was born about 12 years after Baio, so he would have been 25 or 26 at the time of the alleged abuse.
Eggert continued with her story, saying Baio persuaded her to keep quiet. ”The issue with him was that he was our boss. He was telling me, ‘You can’t tell anybody, this is illegal, I’ll go to jail. The show will be over. Everybody will be sued. You’ll be out of a job. You’ll ruin everybody’s life.’ And it’s scary. It’s intimidating, especially when you’re that young.”
Eggert says that the inappropriate behavior continued until she was 17, and then she and Baio had sexual intercourse for the first time.
The actress initially appeared to insinuate that Baio was guilty of misconduct when she responded to a tweet by Tony Posnanski about Scott Baio, replying “Ask
@scottbaio what happened in his garage at his house when I was a minor. Creep.”
She later wrote, according to the New York Daily News, “It started when I was 14. Wasn’t a one-time deal.”
Soon after the initial accusations were made, Baio decided to defend himself in a Facebook Live video, which has since been uploaded to YouTube.
“I’m being accused of inappropriately touching her, Nicole Eggert, when she was a minor. And having sex with her when she was a minor. That’s what I’m being accused of,” he says, vehemently denying the allegations.
He goes on to acknowledge that the pair did have sex, but he says it was consensual. He also says it was after the show stopped shooting, and Eggert was of age.
“I remember her calling me and asking me to come over, and coming in my house one time and seducing me,” Baio said into the camera.
When asked to if she had anything to say regarding Baio’s response, Egger said the following:
If I could go back to a younger Nicole, I would tell her that she doesn’t have to be ashamed that she was a victim. Shame plays such a weird part and such a strong voice. You lie. I didn’t want anybody to look at me and think I was weak. I didn’t want anybody to look at me and think “Oh, victim.” And 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. And when I talk to other women, I don’t think, ‘Oh, you’re weak. You’re a victim.’ So it’s made me realize that it’s not gross; it’s not embarrassing.