AceShowbiz - Actor Ricky Schroder has spoken out after it emerged he contributed $150,000 (£113,000) towards alleged killer Kyle Rittenhouse's $2 million (£1.5 million) bail.
Rittenhouse allegedly fired at three protesters with an AR-15-style rifle in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on 25 August (20), while the city was engulfed in civil unrest following an earlier shooting by a local police officer that left victim Jacob Blake paralysed.
The 17-year-old, who was charged with multiple counts of homicide and unlawful possession of a firearm, claims he was acting in self-defence, and Schroder - an avid supporter of gun ownership and 30-year NRA (National Rifle Association of America) member - admits he was "infuriated" when he saw the teenager being vilified in the press.
Speaking to the New York Post's Page Six gossip column, he shares, Bails Out "It made me mad. This boy is innocent and he will be proven innocent. I did what any father should've done, and that's get a kid out of jail that doesn't deserve to be there."
The "NYPD Blue" star adds Rittenhouse's case struck a nerve as he felt mistreated by the media after his arrest in May, 2019 for allegedly punching his longtime girlfriend - a case that was later dismissed.
"It sucked because everybody thought I was a woman beater, and I'm not a woman beater," he recalls. "I was tried and convicted in the court of the media. But you have to understand, that's only my reputation that was being destroyed."
Schroder has been lambasted on social media over his involvement in the teen's release, prompting him to report the digital threats and insults to police, according to TMZ.
"When people talk about coming to my home is when they get my attention," he explains, adding, "I'm in this in the long haul for this kid, until his name's cleared. This is a clear case of self-defence."