'Dukes of Hazzard' star regrets arrest, aims for sobriety

NEW YORK — "The Dukes of Hazzard" star Tom Wopat says he'll be taking time to address his ongoing struggle with substance abuse following his arrest in Massachusetts on indecent assault and battery charges.

Wopat pleaded not guilty Thursday to grabbing the buttocks of a female member of a local production of "42nd Street" he was supposed to star in. Police said they found what they suspect to be cocaine in the actor's possession.

In a statement issued Tuesday, Wopat expressed "his deepest regrets to friends, family, and his many loyal fans" for the "unfortunate events" but denied any wrongdoing. He said he hopes his "good name will be restored" after his team investigates the allegation.

He "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," the statement reads.

The 65-year-old Tony Award-nominated actor played Luke Duke on the 1980s television show "The Dukes of Hazzard." Wopat was supposed to play Julian Marsh in "42nd Street" at the Waltham-based Reagle Music Theatre of Greater Boston but has been replaced since he was alleged to have inappropriately touched the woman July 23. Wopat was released on $1,000 bail and was told to stay away from the woman.

Police said they searched him and his vehicle and found two bags of white powder believed to be cocaine. He told police he buys cocaine "in large quantities and uses it over time," the court documents said.

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