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Fred Willard on lewd-conduct arrest: 'I did nothing wrong'

July 27, 2012 |  7:37 am

Fred Willard with Jimmy Fallon
Appearing on a late-night talk show, Fred Willard called his recent lewd conduct-related arrest in a Hollywood adult movie theater “an embarrassment” but said he "did nothing wrong."

The 72-year-old actor appeared on NBC’s “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” on Thursday, joking about the incident that got him fired from a PBS show after being arrested on suspicion of engaging in a lewd act during a routine police inspection of the Tiki Theater.

“It's the last time I'm going to to listen to my wife when she says, ‘Why don't you go out and see a movie?’” Willard joked on the late-night talk show.

Willard said he thought adult theaters didn’t exist anymore: “I see this one, it had such a Polynesian exotic look to it. I say maybe there's hula dancers in here. Maybe there's mai tais. I went in and I realized I was the only one awake and sober and conscious.”

After cracking a few salacious jokes, host Jimmy Fallon offered his sympathy.

“Fred, I know this must be tough for you,” Fallon said.

“It is. It's very embarrassing,” Willard replied. “It's embarrassing as hell, but let me say this: ‘Nothing happened. I did nothing wrong.’”

He added that he has great respect for authorities, “but if you're at the wrong place at the wrong time, everything seems suspicious.”

Willard will not be criminally charged if he completes a diversion program, which is administered by an outside vendor and costs about $380. There are diversion programs for a variety of offenses, including drug and alcohol abuse, in addition to sex-related crimes.

PBS fired Willard from his job as narrator of its new "Market Warriors" series, noting that the case would be a distraction. Willard's movie credits include "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy," "This Is Spinal Tap" and "Best in Show."


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-- Melissa Leu

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Photo: Fred Willard on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon." Credit: Lloyd Bishop / NBCUniversal.