Actor Fred Willard is trying to "laugh off" his recent arrest on suspicion of lewd conduct, but insists the incident was both "painful" and "very embarrassing".
The This is Spinal Tap star was detained by police last week (18Jul12) on suspicion of masturbating during a porn film at the Tiki Theater in Los Angeles, but he will avoid prosecution after officials at the L.A. City Attorney's Office offered him a chance to
enrol on a counselling course instead of going to court.
He maintained his innocence after the incident and has now explained what happened during an appearance on U.S. TV show Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.
The 72 year old joked to the host, "It's the last time I'm gonna listen to my wife when she says, 'Why don't you go out and see a movie?'... I see this one (theatre), it had such an exotic look to it. I thought maybe there's hula dancers in there. Maybe there's Mai Tais! (It was) a trip down Alice in Wonderland and down the rabbit hole... (I was the) only awake and sober and conscious (person there)."
However, Willard admits the incident, which cost him his job as narrator for PBS reality TV show Market Warriors, was extremely stressful for him. He adds, "It's very embarrassing. It's embarrassing as hell! But let me say this: nothing happened. I did nothing wrong, everything's being sorted out as we speak...
"I have great respect for the authorities. I mean, when we need a policeman, God bless 'em, they're there. But, if you're in the wrong place at the wrong time, everything seems suspicious... But it's very embarrassing. Very painful. And I'm trying to laugh it off. But my summary of the evening is that it's an interesting theatre, boring movie, and a great place to take a nap."