Broadway Veteran Tom Wopat Issues Statement; 'Firmly Denies' Groping Charges
As BWW reported last week, Broadway veteran Tom Wopat, who was set to star in Reagle Music Theatre's 42ND STREET opposite Rachel York, was arrested in Waltham, Massachusetts for indecent assault and battery. The victim is reportedly involved with the production and the charge has to do with Wopat "allegedly putting his hands down her pants." Wopat was booked after he was found in possession of a small bag of cocaine. During his arraignment last Thursday, he was instructed to stay away from his accuser. According to the theater's website, Rich Allegretto will take over the role of Julian Marsh for the remainder of the show's run.
In a statement issued to USA TODAY this morning, Wopat denies the charges against him and says he hopes to clear his name. The statement reads: "As a result of this incident", Mr. Wopat "was forced by court order to leave a production of 42nd Street in Waltham ... He is truly disappointed not to be on the stage with his fellow performers and wishes them success in this and all future endeavors."
It goes on to say that Wopat "firmly denies any wrongdoing, and after a thorough investigation by his defense team and a full airing of the facts, Tom has faith that the truth will be revealed and his good name will be restored." It continues, "Mr. Wopat urges everyone to keep in mind that these are allegations; he's alleged to have improperly touched an adult female performer during rehearsal in the presence of the entire cast and directing staff."
The statement concludes by explaining that Wopat will be 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 and will take immediate steps to achieve it."
Read the article in full here
Wopat first appeared on the Broadway stage as a replacement in the 1977 musical I Love My Wife, as Wally. He later appeared as a replacement in the stage musicals City of Angels and Guys and Dolls. He appeared in the opening cast of the 1999 revival of Annie Get Your Gun as Frank Butler, opposite Bernadette Peters, Susan Lucci and Crystal Bernard, who played Annie Oakley (in consecutive order); he was nominated for a Tony Award in 1999 for his performance as Butler. He later appeared in revivals of Chicago and 42nd Street.
In 2005, Wopat appeared in the Broadway revival of David Mamet's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Glengarry Glen Ross as James Lingk. In 2008, WoPat Starred on Broadway as the father in A Catered Affair and received his second Tony nomination for that performance.
In July 2009, he originated the role of Frank Abagnale Sr. in the musical Catch Me If You Can and was featured in Sondheim on Sondheim at the Roundabout Theatre's Studio 54 in 2010.
Photo Credit: Genevieve Rafter-Keddy