Fred Willard, the star of 'Anchorman', must attend a "diversion program" if he wishes to avoid a criminal trial after being arrested for allegedly engaging in a "lewd act" at an adult movie theater.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the program is administered by an outside vendor and costs around $380. There are diversion programs for a variety for offenses, including drug and alcohol abuse, and sex-related crimes. A spokesman for City Attorney Carmen Trutanich said, "I want to stress this was and is a fileable case, and should the defendant choose not to enroll or not complete the program, we have the option of filing criminal charges within a year". Prosecutors said Willard has a previous lewd conduct arrest in 1990, though did not disclose the details. However, the actor may decide against attending the program given that he believes he did nothing wrong when he allegedly exposed his penis at the cinema. His attorney Paul Takakjian said, "With all due respect to the individual officer, our belief [is] that Fred did nothing in any violation of any law. We will be working vigorously to clear his name in this matter". Uniformed officers arrested the 72-year-old on Wednesday evening (July 18, 2012) at the Tiki Theater on Santa Monica Boulevard.
Following the arrest, Willard was fired from his job as the narrator of the new Pbs show 'Market Warriors'.