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Actor Herve Villechaize Arrested; Says He’s Being Harassed

May 16, 1985

BURBANK, Calif. (AP) _ Herve Villechaize, who played Tattoo on the television show ″Fantasy Island,″ said he went to a hospital with a gun in his bag because he had stress-related pain from a series of threatening phone calls.

″Somebody’s doing a number on me, they’re scaring me every night,″ Villechaize said Wednesday.

″For the past month, I’ve been getting phone calls in my office and my house, threatening phone calls. When I call the police, they say, ’Well, we need proof.‴

Villechaize, 42, was booked by Burbank police Wednesday for investigation of receiving a stolen gun and carrying a loaded and concealed firearm, Sgt. Scott Wilson said.

Villechaize said he was released from jail after posting $1,000 bail.

The diminutive actor walked into Saint Joseph Medical Center about 2:55 a.m. Wednesday and claimed that someone was trying to kill him, Wilson said. Staff members thought he had been drinking and called police.

Wilson said the actor smelled of alcohol and his speech was slurred.

An officer asked to see the actor’s identification.

″While he was putting the identification away in his handbag, the officer spotted a handgun,″ Wilson said.

The serial number showed that the .38-caliber revolver had been reported stolen in Georgia.

The 3-foot-11 actor said he received a threatening call about 1:30 a.m., hung up on the man and took a taxi to a bar to find a friend who knew martial arts.

He failed to find him and went to the hospital, intending to stay overnight.

″I went there because I had problems with my spastic colon″ from anxiety, he said. ″I was shaking like a leaf. They would not let me pass the desk.″

Villechaize said the gun found in his bag was bought seven or eight years ago from a person he declined to name. He also refused to say whether the gun was registered or if he knew whether it was stolen.

Villechaize said he believes at least one of the callers is a member of the film industry who is trying to prevent him from working and may have tipped police that he was carrying a gun.

Asked why anyone would threaten him, Villechaize replied ″because it’s fun to pick on a midget, especially a famous one.″

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