Baron faces rap for 'touching' actress' breasts
MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – Actor Baron Geisler is facing another controversy after actress Cherry Pie Picache filed a complaint against him before the ABS-CBN management and the Professional Artist Management, Inc (PAMI).
The award-winning actress accused Geisler of touching her breasts during the taping of the television series "Noah" over the weekend.
In “Noah,” Picache plays the character of Rebecca, mother of Ruth (Jodi Sta.Maria), while Geisler portrays Caleb.
Geisler was reportedly drunk when the alleged incident occurred.
In a statement sent to ABS-CBN News, Picache’s talent manager, Ed Instrella, said they filed the complaint “to help provide, and implement policies to discipline violators and to protect actors as well as production staff members from the same juvenile action.”
"The embarrassment, undue stress, and degrading, malicious experience inflicted on Cherry Pie Picache by her co-actor while taping ‘Noah’ last Friday evening was indeed unfortunate and disturbing at the very least,” Instrella said.
Through their efforts, he said, they hope “it will not happen again not only to Cherry Pie Picache but also to other actors and staff members as well in any set at any given time.”
Picache’s camp is calling on PAMI and “the rest of the appropriate governing body to closely investigate the matter objectively and without fear because only then a realistic approach in disciplining such behavior will be achieved.”
“It is now our prayer that through these disciplinary actions our movie and television industry will be weeded out with such ungrateful and unprofessional artists,” the statement read.
Meanwhile, PAMI disclosed that they will start the closed-door investigation of Picache’s complaint on Wednesday.
According to PAMI chairperson Ethel Ramos, it is possible that the organization will talk about granting the PAMI managers the act of “voluntary inhibition” to discipline Geisler.
If granted, the managers who are PAMI members may temporarily reject, on their talents' behalf, projects involving Geisler.
ABS-CBN has already removed Geisler from the ongoing teleserye.
No legal action
In a phone interview, Instrella said that, as of the moment, Picache has no intention of taking any legal action against the actor.
"What we did was file a complaint with the ‘Noah’ management and they already responded to that and the PAMI, that's all," he said.
Geisler, on the other hand, declined to comment on the issue.
This is not the first time that the award-winning actor has been accused of harassment.
On May 21, 2009, young actress Yasmien Kurdi filed a harassment case against Geisler.
According to Kurdi, Geisler allegedly made "lewd gestures" and "indecent proposals" to her during the taping of the television series "Suspetsa" in Bocaue, Bulacan.
The case filed by Kurdi is set to be arraigned this coming Wednesday in Bocaue, Bulacan.
The daughter of celebrity couple William Martinez and Yayo Aguila also charged the young actor with acts of lasciviousness and unjust vexation in April 2008.
Geisler, in a previous interview, also denied that he harassed actress-host Julia Clarete in April of last year during a birthday party.
PAMI will start its investigation of the Picache complaint on Wednesday. Both Geisler and his manager Arnold Vegafria are expected to show up in the hearings.
Vegafria called on the public not to judge his ward right away. He said a video of the incident will show if Geisler had deliberately touched the actress’ breasts.
Vegafria added that Geisler will seek help from a toxicologist and a psychiatrist.
Jewel Mische, Geisler's leading lady in one of "Maalaala Mo Kaya's (MMK)" episodes, came to the defense of the actor.
In a press conference for "Wansapanataym's Buhawi Jack," the Kapamilya's newest star maintained that Geisler is a gentleman.
"He is a complete gentleman to me and I even told him that you know what, whatever I heard about him before, I would be one of those people who can testify how a gentleman he can be. Sinabi ko talaga sa kanya 'yon," Mische said.
Mische also stressed that Geisler was not drunk while they were doing their MMK episode.
Actor Gerald Anderson said he hopes Geisler and Picache will eventually reconcile.
"Ang wish ko lang sana ay maging maayos na ang lahat at pareho silang magaling na artista. Si Miss Pie, nanay ko yan sa ‘Tayong Dalawa,’ so sana maging maayos ang lahat," he said, referring to his defunct television series.
Meanwhile, Geisler is also scheduled to attend a hearing on the acts of lasciviousness complaint filed by Kurdi on Wednesday. –Reports from Reyma Buan-Deveza, abs-cbnNEWS.com, ANC and Mario Dumaual, ABS-CBN News