When we last left our friend, Luke Duke, he had gone off to become a fire jumper for the US Forest Service, according to The Dukes of Hazzard: Reunion. In The Dukes of Hazzard: Hazzard in Hollywood, we see him bumping into a girl he once fell in love with. Today, however, things have not gone so well for the actor who played Duke on the show and in the reunion films, Tom Wopat.
On Thursday, August 3 in Waltham, Massachusetts, he plead not guilty to groping a female actress who is apart of the musical he was set to be in before the arrest. He was released on $1,000 bail and was directed to steer clear of the women following his plea of not guilty with regard to drug possession and assault and battery charges.
His previous arrest took place on Wednesday, August 2, when Waltham authorities discovered “two bags of white powder believed to be cocaine” in his vehicle. He indeed may need a treatment for cocaine addiction. He told them he bought large amounts of the drug and used it over time. He has previously refused to comment outside the courthouse and denied touching any person inappropriately. However, he did comment to the media, reiterating again his denial, but also addressing his need for rehab.
“Mr. Wopat will be taking personal time to address his ongoing struggle with substance abuse,” the statement said. “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.” He urged everyone to take the supposed facts of this case against him with a grain of salt.
“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 continued. The actor will also not be able to appear in the role of Julian Marsh for 42nd Street at the Reagle Music Theatre of Greater Boston beginning that Thursday.
“He is truly disappointed not to be on the stage with his fellow performers and wishes them success in this and all future endeavors,” Wopat said. The statement also said the actor had faith his good name would once again be restored in time.
Following the latest events, the theater decided to replace Wopat in the starring role. They cast Rich Allegretto for the part of Julian Marsh during the rest of the production. The Dukes of Hazzard show did not shy away from drugs at all specifically. On the 21st episode of season 2 titled “Mason Dixon’s Girls,” Bo and Luke were arrested when they were detained for picking up a crate accidentally of marijuana. They eventually brought down a drug smuggling operation.
Sorrell Booke stated in his contract he did not want his character, Boss Hogg, ever killing or dealing drugs to anyone. The show was not afraid to take on the reality of issues in the world around the show. We will have to wait and see as to whether or not there is any truth to what exactly is being said about Wopat.
Regardless, it is quite tragic he might need a treatment for cocaine addiction. No one wants that for anyone and the hope is he finds the treatment he needs. Hopefully, he makes his return back to acting soon to grace us all with another great performance.