Comic Paula Poundstone Charged With Child Endangerment

Standup comedian Paula Poundstone was arrested Wednesday on charges of performing lewd acts upon a child and child endangerment, the L.A. district attorney's office announced.

Poundstone, 41, was charged with three counts of committing a lewd act on a girl under the age of 14 on May 19 and June 6, as well as endangering two other girls and two boys on June 6, Deputy District Attorney Gina Satriano said in a statement.

Poundstone's manager said the comedian was innocent.

"I know Paula Poundstone well enough to know these charges are 100 percent incorrect," Bonnie Burns, said in a statement Wednesday evening. "She has been an incredible parent, she's made huge sacrifices to see that children who weren't dealt the best cards in life were well taken care of and she's always shown herself to be completely honorable and full of integrity.

A single mother of two, Poundstone has regularly taken in foster children.

"I have faith that the truth is the right thing," was the only statement a haggard looking Poundstone made to reporters after leaving jail.

She could face a maximum of 13 years and four months in prison if convicted of all charges.

Santa Monica police arrested Poundstone in Malibu at 3:10 p.m. She was released from custody around 7:30 p.m. after posting $200,000 bail.

Satriano said no further details on Poundstone's arrest would be released by the District Attorney's office.

"I can't discuss the facts underlying the case," she said.

Poundstone's lawyer, Steven Crone, criticized police for taking the entertainer into custody, saying Poundstone had been aware of the investigation for some time and was cooperating with authorities.

"They know where Paula has been and there was certainly no reason for them to go out and arrest her," he said.

The brassy comic, known for her one-liners about politics and life in general, has been a frequent guest on late-night talk shows over the years and is a regular panelist on the syndicated game show To Tell the Truth.

She has won two Cable ACE awards for HBO specials, as well as an American Comedy Award in 1989 as the nation's best female standup comic.

The husky-voiced Poundstone rose to prominence in the late 1980s on standup comedy shows like One Night Stand. Much of her later material has involved her life as a single mom with numerous cats.

She provided backstage commentary to the 1993 Emmy Awards telecast, appeared on the pre- and post-Oscar shows for the 1994 Academy Awards and served as "official correspondent" for The Tonight Show during the 1992 presidential race.

Poundstone is also a former contributing editor at Mother Jones magazine, where she wrote humor columns.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.