Paul Reubens disappeared along with his alter ego, Pee-wee Herman, after a 1991 indecent exposure arrest. A false child pornography accusation followed in 2001. But Reubens and Pee-wee are both back, with a Broadway show and new movie in the works. In a candid interview, he discusses his career comeback, and both arrests, with Playboy:
- On his public masturbation charge: In the event of a trial (which never happened), an expert researcher was going to testify he'd never seen a person masturbate with a nondominant hand. "I’m right-handed, and the police report said I was jerking off with my left hand. That would have been the end of the case right there, proof it couldn’t have been me."
- How he disappeared: Doris Duke, whom he'd met years earlier in Hawaii, invited him to stay at her New Jersey estate.
- On the child porn charge: Police raided his home on a "false tip," yet still confiscated much of his kitsch art collection, which was made up of inoffensive items like "etched-on-glass 3D 1940s cheesecake photography of beautiful women," he says. "They made it sound as if I had a huge homoerotic collection, which I didn’t."
- How he healed: Falling in love with Debi Mazar in 1993 helped. "I was just so incredibly completely smitten that it was like, Boom, I’m back! It was so powerful; it was a gift."
For the complete interview, click here