'Free Willy' Star Jason James Richter Arrested on Domestic Violence Charges
By Desiree Murphy
Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for Universal Studios Hollywood
Jason James Richter, best known for his role as Jesse in Free Willy, was arrested on domestic charges in Los Angeles on Monday.
The former child actor, now 38, was arrested at 11:45 p.m. local time and booked in to jail in Van Nuys, California, at 1:12 a.m. for a misdemeanor, the LAPD confirms to ET. Richter spent two nights in jail, the LAPD says, and was released Wednesday.
"Jason and his girlfriend were involved in an argument that unfortunately escalated to the point where police were called," a rep for Richter said in a statement to ET. "However, Jason vehemently denies any physical altercation. He is devastated that anyone has been led to believe otherwise. Jason was released of his own recognizance, the police found no visible marks or bruises and there is every reason to believe that these false charges will be dropped."
According to TMZ, Richter had an argument with his girlfriend around 7 p.m. at their home, and things escalated quickly after he asked her about a co-worker and whether they were having an affair. Following the alleged incident, Richter's girlfriend showed up at the police station and filed a report, claiming domestic violence, the outlet reports.
Richter played Jesse, a foster child who befriends a captive orca, in 1993's Free Willy, as well as its sequels, Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home and Free Willy 3: The Rescue. The original film celebrated its 25th anniversary in April.
Since then, Richter has landed a number of small screen projects, appearing in shows like Bones, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch and Criminal Minds.