Reubens Turned To Duke For Help After Porn Theatre Scandal

PAUL REUBENS turned to reclusive philanthropist DORIS DUKE following his 1991 public indecency arrest - because he felt sure he'd find safety and privacy on her sprawling New Jersey estate.
The funnyman moved into a cottage recently vacated by the Philippines former First Lady Imelda Marcos after Duke, an old friend, agreed to let him hide out at her home and avoid the media storm after he was caught masturbating in a Florida porn theatre.
He tells Playboy magazine, "A couple of years earlier I'd gone to Oahu (Hawaii) to write Pee-wee's Playhouse Goes Hawaiian, which never got made and her neighbour Jim Nabors... took me to her house for lunch... She was always so nice to me. For no reason.
"So I called her and said, 'I'm in trouble.' She said to come to her house in New Jersey. I said, 'Wait, wait, wait. Let me tell you I'm not just in trouble - I'm in trouble!'
"She was famously guarded about her privacy. I didn't know if people were following me. I didn't want to throw that onto her, but she said to come. On the Monday after my arrest on Friday, I woke up at Doris Duke's 2,700-acre estate in Somerville, New Jersey... It looked like Central Park except bigger, with deer all over the place."
But he couldn't run away from the controversy - it was all over the newspapers and on TV.
Reubens reveals he fell out with a lot of friends on TV because they made him the punchline to their jokes.
He adds, "I turned on the TV and saw people I mistakenly and naively thought were my friends making jokes about me... I had already said the allegations weren't true and felt I deserved the benefit of the doubt from them.
"Make a joke about me but also just say, 'By the way, he's been a friend of our show for many years.' I was shocked people would kick me when I was down."
Reubens later pleaded no contest to the charges in a bid to avoid a trial.


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