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Sex arrest star offered counselling

Fred Willard will be allowed to have counselling sessions to avoid a lewd conduct charge after an arrest that cost the Best In Show actor a TV job.

Los Angeles City Attorney's Office said Willard's case was eligible for a diversion programme that would keep him from being formally charged with lewd conduct if he completed the required courses, spokesman Frank Mateljan said.

Emmy-Nominated Willard, 72, best-known as the announcer in Best In Show, was arrested on Wednesday night on suspicion of committing a lewd act. He was taken into custody by police who were making a routine check at a Hollywood adult cinema.

Hours later he was sacked as the narrator of Market Warriors, a show produced by Boston public television station WGBH.

The actor will pay £243 for the diversion programme, which is run by a private concern and may include sessions on decision-making and sex-related crimes.

Mr Mateljan said the case against Willard was viable and the actor could still be charged if he did not complete the programme.

The actor said in a video posted on Thursday by celebrity website TMZ that it was a misunderstanding and denied wrongdoing.

Willard was nominated four times for Emmys for guest roles on TV's Modern Family and Everybody Loves Raymond. In Pixar's 2008 hit WALL-E, he voiced the character of Shelby Forthright, the CEO of a ubiquitous big-box chain called Buy'n'Large.

In addition to Best In Show, Willard has also appeared in other Christopher Guest mockumentary films, including This Is Spinal Tap and Waiting For Guffman.


From Belfast Telegraph