LOS ANGELES – Jerry Lewis said a gun found in his carry-on and confiscated by Las Vegas police at the airport last month was a gift from an engraver following Lewis' annual telethon for the Muscular Dystrophy Association — despite an earlier claim by his manager that the weapon was a prop.
"Oh, I had a gun in my carrying case, which was given to me by a marvelous, marvelous engraver," Lewis told "Entertainment Tonight." "Last year, at the telethon of '07, he presented me with this gorgeous gift. He presented it to me in the telethon office in '07. I put it in that traveling case, and I hadn't traveled since that telethon 'til that day."
Lewis said in a video posted Thursday on the entertainment news show's Web site that the gun had been sitting in his office for a year in an unused traveling case. Lewis said "a whole year flashed in front of me" when his road manager, Jeff Low, asked if he had a gun in his baggage at the Las Vegas airport before his flight to Detroit.
"The case was sitting dormant in my office," Lewis said.
Following the incident last month, Lewis' manager, Claudia Marghilano, told The Associated Press that the handgun was a hollowed-out prop gun that Lewis sometimes twirls during his show. She said the gun couldn't fire and that Lewis didn't know the gun was in the bag along with other props.
When reached for comment by telephone Thursday, Marghilano said there was a prop gun in Lewis' baggage besides the handgun that was given to Lewis as a gift. Marghilano said she did not previously know about the gift and did not know which gun _the gift or the prop — police confiscated.
Las Vegas policeman Bill Cassell said on July 30 if the gun were merely a prop "it wouldn't be a weapon and we couldn't cite him for carrying a weapon." Cassell said Lewis was cited July 25 for carrying the unloaded concealed weapon at the Las Vegas airport.