Nicole Eggert details Scott Baio sexual abuse claims after his denial

Nicole Eggert has given her first TV interview about her sexual misconduct claims against her Charles in Charge co-star Scott Baio, explaining why she "covered up" the alleged behavior for years.

Speaking on Megyn Kelly Today on Tuesday, the actress, 46, spoke about claims she first made on Twitter over the weekend, where she alleged that Baio, 57, molested her beginning at age 14.

Eggert took NBC News host Megyn Kelly back to when the CBS family sitcom, which ran for four years, began in September of 1986 when Eggert was 14. She said Baio — who played the title character, a college student who cared for a household of children including one played by Eggert — "immediately" befriended her and earned her trust.

"Then he started expressing his love for me and talking about marriage in the future," said Eggert. "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, after that."

28 PHOTOS
Nicole Eggert through the years
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Nicole Eggert through the years
Nicole Eggert at the Birthday Party for Debbie Gibson, Ed Debevic's, Hollywood. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Nicole Eggert, circa 1988. (Photo by Getty Images)
Actress Nicole Eggert. (Photo by Time Life Pictures/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 18: Nicole Eggert (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Nicole Eggert at the Purina Pet Parent Progam Event, Universal Studios, Universal City. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Portrait of American actresses Nicole Eggert and Pamela Anderson, stars of the tv series 'Baywatch,' wearing low-cut red swimsuits, 1992. (Photo by Fotos International/Getty Images)
Actress Nicole Eggert. (Photo by Time Life Pictures/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
CLUELESS - 'Kiss Me Kip' - Airdate: November 8, 1996. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) INGO RADEMACHER;NICOLE EGGERT
368600 03: Former cast member Nicole Eggert of the television show 'Baywatch' arrives for the 10th year anniversary party on May 2, 2000 in Santa Monica, CA. The hit show has aired nearly 200 episodes since it first premiered in 1990. (Photo by Joe Thomas/Online USA)
Nicole Eggert during GQ Magazine Celebrates Second Annual 'Hollywood Issue' with Star-Studded L.A. Bash at The Factory Space in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
Nicole Eggert at the Diet Coke With Lemon Hosts Luncheon for USO, Spago Restaurant, Beverly Hills. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Nicole Eggert during Celebrate The Launch of Napster 2.0 - Arrivals at House of Blues in West Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by M. Caulfield/WireImage)
Nicole Eggert during 'The Real Gilligan's Island' Launch Party at Pearl in West Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Jean-Paul Aussenard/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - DECEMBER 8: Actress Nicole Eggert arrives at 'The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Enagement' DVD Pajama Party on December 8, 2004 at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 25: Nicole Eggert attends Trident White hosts the 'Black and White Party' Benefiting Martin Scorsese's Film Foundation co-hosted by McG and Stephanie Savage at Skybar at the Mondrian Hotel on February 25, 2005 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Billy Farrell/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
Nicole Eggert (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD - SEPTEMBER 27: Actress Nicole Eggert , arrives at the Stuff Magazine Celebrates 'The Stuff Style Awards' party held at the Archlight Theatres rooftop car park on September 27, 2006 in Hollywood,California (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Actress Nicole Eggert arrives at the T-Mobile Sidekick LX Launch Party held at Griffith Park's Harding and Wilson Golf Course on October 16, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
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CULVER CITY, CA - AUGUST 01: Actress Nicole Eggert arrives at the Comedy Central Roast Of David Hasselhoff held at Sony Pictures Studios on August 1, 2010 in Culver City, California. The 'Comedy Central Roast of David Hasselhoff' will air on Sunday, August 15, 2010 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 19: Actress Nicole Eggert arrives at the 'Baywatch' Reunion Dinner at the XIV restaurant on August 19, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)
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LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 22: Actress Nicole Eggert is seen on March 22, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by GP/Star Max/GC Images)
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BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 09: Nicole Eggert, HEARTBREAKERS actress speaks during the Discovery Communications TCA Panel, Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images for Discovery Communications) 33280_1641.JPG
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She continued, "I was very young and it was shocking. I had never experienced anything like that before, either. So he was playing on not only my emotions but my hormones. The issue with him is that he was our boss. He also was telling me, 'You can't tell anybody, this is illegal, I'll go to jail. Everybody will be sued. You'll be out of a job. You'll ruin everybody's life.' It's scary. That's intimidating, especially when you're young."

She told Kelly that the alleged molestation happened "quite often" from when she was 14 through 16 — more than 10 times and about once a week, she said. On set, she said there was a lot of "groping, a lot of fondling, a lot of pulling me on his lap, trying to sneak kisses on the back," she says of behavior other castmembers witnessed.

She told Kelly that the first time she and Baio had sex was when she was 17. Eggert and Baio dated briefly in the 1980s and she has previously said she lost her virginity to Baio at age 17; the age of consent in California is 18.

"It wasn't until getting a little bit older that I started to realize, this was not love," she said. "Everybody knew the attention he gave me."

Eggert's appearance comes after similar claims made in a series of tweets on Saturday. In one post that has since been deleted, the Baywatch star alleged she was molested by Baio at ages "14,15,16 and 17." 

Baio addressed Eggert's claims in a 16-minute Facebook Live video, recorded by his wife Renee, and a Facebook post, saying his intent was to "prove her claims are 100 percent lies." He said that in 2012 and 2013, Eggert first made claims against him when she was promoting reality shows and Baio opted not to respond. He produced two letters from his attorneys, dated last year, to Eggert and Charles in Charge co-star Alexander Polinsky, who Baio claims "decided to team up against" him, telling them both to go to the police if they had legitimate claims. 

Baio said he and Eggert did have sex, but claims it was consensual after show ended, when Eggert, he says, was at least 18: "I remember her calling me and asking to come over and coming in my house one time and seducing me. Now, any normal heterosexual, red-blooded American guy, the outcome would have been the same."

Kelly reiterated on her Tuesday show that Baio denies Eggert's claims. She also extended an invitation for him to give his defense live.

Of Baio's response, Eggert, now inspired by the #MeToo movement, said she covered up what had happened in previous interviews to protect the "legacy" of the show. "I got really good at putting it in a box and saying, 'That's not me. That didn't happen to me,'" she said.

Eggert, who was joined by Hollywood attorney Lisa Bloom, said she is considering filing a police report. Bloom added that at this point, all legal options are on the table.

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Scott Baio out and about
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Scott Baio out and about
UNITED STATES - JULY 18: Actor Scott Baio speaks at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio on Monday, July 18, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 18: Scott Baio performs a mic test before the start of the evening session on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicks off on July 18. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WOODLAND HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 21: Actor Scott Baio with his wife Renee Sloan and daughter Bailey Baio attend the Scott Baio 1st annual charity golf tournament benefiting The Bailey Baio Angel Foundation at Woodland Hills Country Club on September 21, 2015 in Woodland Hills, California. (Photo by Lilly Lawrence/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 06: Actor Scott Baio attends KIIS FM's Jingle Ball at Staples Center on December 6, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 23: Actor Scott Baio (C) with Renee Sloan (L) and daughter Bailey (R) arrive at Nickelodeon's 26th Annual Kids' Choice Awards at USC Galen Center on March 23, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
Actors Scott Baio and Ryan Newman arrive at Nickelodeon's 26th Annual Kids' Choice Awards at USC Galen Center. (Photo by Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 27: Actor Scott Baio visits the SiriusXM Studios on February 27, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 17: Actor Scott Baio arrives at the TeenNick HALO Awards at The Hollywood Palladium on November 17, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 17: (L-R) Actors Mark Curry, Ramy Youssef and Scott Baio attend Nickelodeon's 2012 TeenNick HALO Awards at Hollywood Palladium on November 17, 2012 in Hollywood, California. The show premieres on Monday, November 19th, 8:00p.m. (ET) on Nick at Nite. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images For Nickelodeon)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 17: (L-R) Actors Ramy Youssef, Alanna Ubach, Scott Baio, Ryan Newman and Jackson Brundage arrive at Nickelodeon's 2012 TeenNick HALO Awards at Hollywood Palladium on November 17, 2012 in Hollywood, California. The show premieres on Monday, November 19th, 8:00p.m. (ET) on Nick at Nite. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images For Nickelodeon)
LIVE WITH KELLY AND MICHAEL -12/6/12 - Scott Baio appears on the newly-rechristened syndicated talk show, LIVE with Kelly and Michael,' distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television.(Photo by David Steele/ABC via Getty Images) SCOTT BAIO, KELLY RIPA, MICHAEL STRAHAN
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Episode 832 -- Pictured: (l-r) Andy Cohen, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Scott Baio -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 31: Scott Baio attends the 2012 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards at Galen Center on March 31, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Kathie Lee Gifford, Scott Baio and Hoda Kotb appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
Actor Scott Baio abd family Renee Sloan and daughter Bailey DeLuca Baio arrives at Giggles 'N' Hugs opening party at Westfield Century City Mall on December 3, 2010 in Century City, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MARCH 07: Actor Scott Baio (R) and wife Renee Sloan arrive at the 20th Annual Night of 100 Stars Awards Gala at Beverly Hills Hotel on March 7, 2010 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/FilmMagic)
(L-R) TV personalities Scott Bao and Scott Baio visit with hosts Rosanna Scotto and Greg Kelly on FOX's 'Good Day New York' at FOX studios on January 22, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MAY 17 *** EXCLUSIVE ***: Renee Sloan, actor Scott Baio, Bailey Baio and Kalyn Sloan attend the Children's Hospital Los Angeles Benefit 'The Bash' at Crustacean on May 17, 2009 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Tiffany Rose/WireImage)
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Kelly also said she reached out to Polinsky, who said he stands by his now-deleted tweet, which read: "For 30 years I've held in the embarrassment and shame of being abused daily on the set of Charles in Charge. I had to watch other children be abused as well." Polinsky told Kelly he was not referring to sexual abuse at the hands of Baio, but that in regards to Eggert's claims, he said he witnessed "inappropriate cuddling" between the pair on set.

Eggert says she has spoken with Polinsky, as well as other castmembers, about their experiences on the show. Writer Adam Carl has since tweeted to Eggert, "When I worked on Charles in Charge in ‘88, I sat with you while you cried about that abusive asshole. I know you’re telling the truth and I’m so glad to see you speaking out."

In response to Polinsky, Baio's lawyer said in a statement, "These false claims are part of a regular pattern of making and then deleting outrageous and untrue statements."

Eggert claims Polinsky deleted his tweet because he was "bullied" by Baio and his lawyers. Eggert said she deleted some of her tweets because she wanted her first tweet to stand on its own. "Once you start getting into a Twitter war it just gets messy and ugly," she said. "It's not my favorite social platform to begin with, it's a really nasty place to be."

Kelly also brought up a shelved segment Eggert had taped for The Dr. Oz Show, which Baio addressed in his Facebook Live video by producing legal letters he had sent to the show in response to her claims.

"Some people believe that his denial was basis enough to not air your allegations," Kelly explained. "What we're trying to do is give you the opportunity to tell your story while giving Scott Baio his proper defense and letting the audience make up their minds."

Watch Eggert's appearance on Megyn Kelly Today above.

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