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Fred Willard: Actor denies wrongdoing, gets fired by PBS

July 19, 2012|By Christie D'Zurilla
  • Fred Willard, shown at a July 9 screening at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, called his arrest on suspicion of lewd conduct "a big misunderstanding."
Fred Willard, shown at a July 9 screening at the Academy of Motion Pictures… (Michael Buckner / Getty…)

Fred Willard, arrested Wednesday night in Hollywood on suspicion of lewd conduct, has denied any wrongdoing.

"With all due respect to the individual officer, our belief [is] that Fred did nothing in any violation of any law," lawyer Paul Takakjian said Thursday in a statement to L.A. Now. "We will be working vigorously to clear his name in this matter."

Willard, 72, was arrested by uniformed LAPD vice officers at the Tiki Theater on Santa Monica Boulevard. The actor was allegedly "engaged in a lewd act," according to Sgt. Chuck Slater, who did not elaborate. 

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The "Best in Show" actor told a TMZ camera crew on Thursday that the arrest was "a big misunderstanding," "a strange situation" and "a difference of opinion." Though he said he had "great respect" for law enforcement, "It did not happen."

The actor and comic, currently hosting ABC's"Trust Us With Your Life" improv show, was let go by PBS on Thursday in the wake of the arrest.

"Effective immediately, Fred Willard no longer will be involved with the 'Market Warriors' series," a rep for the Boston public broadcaster that produces the show, told People.


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