The Duke says he’s innocent, but also that he needs to get clean.
It’s a strange reversal after last week’s arrest. During his arraignment, Tom Wopat pled not guilty to felony assault as well as misdemeanor drug possession. Police found small bags of cocaine on his person and in his car during a search.
Now the former Dukes of Hazzard star is saying that he needs time to come to grips with his substance abuse problems. But those baggies – they’re not his.
Wopat’s media rep released a statement yesterday saying he’s “taking personal time to address his ongoing struggle with substance abuse.”
“While death and illness in the family, combined with the intensity of his recent schedule, certainly contributed to his misstep, Tom definitely understands that sobriety is the sole course for a successful future,” the statement concluded.
Last week it was revealed that Wopat had been running afoul of the law while on set rehearsing for his production of 42nd Street. Female co-workers accused him of lewd comments, gestures, and at one point allegedly inserting his fingers between a woman’s butt cheeks. After multiple complaints, the police became involved, who then arrested the showman.
Wopat’s woes didn’t end there. During his arrest, police searched his car and his person and found two small bags containing a white granular substance, along with a small blue straw in Wopat’s front pocket. Testing later confirmed the substance to be cocaine.
The former star denied that the baggies belonged to him, and pled not guilty during his arraignment on misdemeanor possession charges.
It seems awfully strange then that his representative would release a statement saying that Wopat has a substance abuse problem. Maybe he didn’t get the memo from his defense attorney.
While it doesn’t make sense from a legal standpoint, there is evidence to suggest he does have a substance problem. Arrest documents revealed that Wopat once arrived on set clearly inebriated. The play’s production bosses came down hard Wopat during that incident, threatening to fire him if it happened again.
No word yet on when Wopat’s trial is set to begin, but it will likely not be nearly as exciting as his antics as Luke Duke in Dukes of Hazzard.
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