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James Barbour denies sexual abuse charge

Dec. 10, 2006 at 2:36 PM

NEW YORK, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- Broadway's James Barbour, who once starred in "Beauty and the Beast," says a sexual abuse allegation made against in New York him is untrue.

The New York Daily News reported the 40-year-old actor said the recent allegation, made by a 20-year-old actress, was simply an effort to get money from him and not at all based in truth.

"She left NYU, she's working in a bakery, she's completely out of money," Barbour's attorney, Ronald Fischetti, said of the young woman. "The motivation has to be because he's coming into money, and because he's becoming a Broadway star."

While the unidentified woman, who claims Barbour assaulted her when she was 15, has not filed a civil lawsuit, Fischetti said he thinks such a suit will occur.

Barbour, who plays the monstrous lead in "Beast," inherited a large sum of money earlier this year after his mother died and the accusations began shortly thereafter, the report said.

The paper said that the actress' claim has been supported in part by a similar claim by another woman, who said the actor assaulted her seven years ago when she was 13.

Manhattan prosecutors say a secretly recorded conversation supports the allegation, the newspaper said.

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