The actor Gary Busey faces charges of criminal sexual contact and harassment related to incidents that occurred at a horror film fan convention in New Jersey, the police said on Saturday.
The charges were filed on Friday after the authorities responded to reports of a sexual offense at the convention, Monster-Mania Con, the Cherry Hill Police Department said in a statement.
Mr. Busey, 78, who lives in Malibu, Calif., was scheduled to be a featured guest at the event, which took place from Aug. 12-14 at the Doubletree Hotel in Cherry Hill, a Philadelphia suburb.
Mr. Busey was charged with two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual contact, one count of fourth-degree attempted criminal sexual contact and one count of harassment. The police said the investigation was continuing. Additional details about the charges were not immediately available.
The police did not immediately respond to calls and emails on Saturday, and the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office referred questions to the police. Mr. Busey’s manager did not respond to emails, and a representative for the hotel could not immediately be reached.
A lawyer for the convention, Nikitas Moustakas, said the convention company was “assisting authorities in their investigation into an alleged incident involving attendees and a celebrity guest at its convention” in Cherry Hill last weekend.
“Immediately upon receiving a complaint from the attendees, the celebrity guest was removed from the convention and instructed not to return,” he said. “Monster-Mania also encouraged the attendees to contact the police to file a report. The safety and well-being of all our attendees is of the utmost importance to Monster-Mania, and the company will not tolerate any behavior that could compromise those values.”
Mr. Busey, who earned an Oscar nomination for his role in the 1978 film “The Buddy Holly Story,” has struggled with substance abuse in the past, even appearing in “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.”
In 1988, he was badly hurt after losing control of his motorcycle near downtown Los Angeles while riding without wearing a helmet. He sustained severe head injuries and underwent intensive surgery.
Mr. Busey has appeared in numerous movies, including “Lethal Weapon,” (1987) and “Under Siege” (1992), as well as the television series “Entourage.” In 2019, he starred in “Only Human,” an Off Broadway musical in which he played the role of God.
“Monster-Mania also encouraged the attendees to contact the police to file a report,” the company said, adding that behavior that compromised the safety and well-being of attendees would not be tolerated. “Monster-Mania will continue to assist the authorities in any and every way possible,” it said.
“It was about contact. It was about touching,” Lt. Robert Scheunemann told The Philadelphia Inquirer of the muliple complaints police had received about Busey’s conduct.
Busey, who lives in Malibu, California, was scheduled as a featured guest for all three days of the event.
Police did not immediately respond to a message seeking details. It also wasn’t clear whether Busey has an attorney to comment on the charges, and a representative didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment Saturday.
Busey is widely known as a character actor, largely in supporting roles, though he came to attention and was nominated for an Oscar for best actor for playing the title role in the 1978 film “The Buddy Holly Story.”
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