Paul Hogan, star of the “Crocodile Dundee” film series, denied Thursday that he wrote and posted a note outside his Venice, Calif., home directing homeless people to stay off his $3.5 million mansion.
On Sunday, Hogan was photographed holding a red marker ahead of a note being posted near his front door that read, “THIS IS MY HOME NOT YOURS,” in the same color ink.
However, on Wednesday Hogan, who hails from Australia and has lived in the U.S. for the past 16 years, denied he was the one who wrote the sign, adding that he has empathy for the homeless. The Daily Mail went on to report that Hogan, 81, who lives a reclusive life, has described LA’s growing homeless problem as “awful” and “embarrassing.”
“It wasn’t me who put [the sign] up,” Hogan told a correspondent from TMZ as he walked through a parking lot near his home this week. He went on to tell the entertainment gossip site that when he saw the sign he removed it.
A photo of him posted online shows him holding a red marker as he appears to be writing or preparing to write something, but there is no paper evident in the photo. The sign in question was written on a small piece of paper in red ink.
When pressed, Hogan said he “doesn’t know why” someone may have put the sign up. “I took it down and it’s not my house anyway,” he added, noting that he is merely renting the property.
The Daily Mail went on to report, however, that he was apparently seen tacking the sign up.
The one-time comedian also talked about the homeless situation in general in the city, noting, “I just find it sad.”
“California has the fifth biggest economy in the world and we’ve got more homeless people than Bangladesh. I find it awful and embarrassing. I wish I could do something about it,” Hogan told TMZ.
Hogan, whose last ‘Crocodile’ film was “Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles” in 2001, went on to say he gets why there are so many homeless people encamped in his Venice neighborhood instead of in other cities around the country.
“I tell you what, if I was homeless and lived in New York, I couldn’t wait to get to Venice Beach… can’t blame them for that,” he said.
“Hogan, who said earlier this month he was ‘desperately homesick’ and wanted to return to Australia, attached the note to his door before making his way back inside,” the outlet reported.
“The minute I can get on a plane without being locked in a hotel for two weeks, I’m back,” he told Sunrise on 7 Australian TV recently.
A local political leader and neighbor compared the area where Hogan currently lives — in a once-desirable portion of L.A. — as a sort of hell on earth, adding “his house is like a fortress, and it needs to be. I can see why [he] wants to move out.”
In recent weeks, residents of the formerly upscale neighborhood have begun demanding action from city leaders as more homeless move in and the area has devolved into one of filth and crime.
Thousands of homeless are jammed into a two-mile strip of Venice Beach, which is also home to a famous outdoor gym where former bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger and others pumped iron when they were younger and their careers were just taking off.
Soledad Ursua, a member of the Venice Neighborhood Council’s Board of Directors, estimated last week that about 4,000 homeless are now crammed into the area.
“We are homeowners within a homeless encampment, it’s all around us,” Ursua told the Washington Examiner. “You can get shot or stabbed. No one in their right mind would take their children there at night or in the day.”
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