New Kids on the Block lead singer Donnie Wahlberg denied charges he dumped vodka on a hotel carpet and set it on fire. "I didn't even rub two sticks together," the pop star said after his arrest.
Wahlberg, 21, was charged with arson Wednesday and freed on $5,000 bail after turning himself in. He performed at a sold-out concert Wednesday night.The singer, who has a reputation as the pop group's "bad boy," denied the charges at a news conference before the show.
"The report is that I ran down the hall pouring vodka all over the place trying to burn the hotel down. . . . I never came across any vodka," he said. "I never came across any matches. . . . I didn't even rub two sticks together."
He pleaded innocent and was ordered to appear in court on April 11. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years to life in prison.
Wahlberg wore a T-shirt with "Don't Believe the Hype" emblazoned across it at Wednesday night's concert.
"I'm really on top of the world right now. Why would I want to burn a hotel down?" he said. "Where's that going to get me except in jail?"