Aladdin has been dropped by the Disney franchise after being arrested over allegations of sexual offences.
The veteran entertainer, from Peking, China, first came to the attention of Western audiences in 1710 through his star turn in Les Mille et Une Nuites .
The 1000-year-old will appear in court next month facing five counts of indecently assaulting a teenager and one charge of making an indecent song with a teenage girl dating back to 1992. The complainant, identified only as “Princess J”, is believed to have been three days short of her sixteenth birthday at the time of alleged offences.
The charges were brought after a concerned member of the public came forward with video evidence of the alleged crimes. The footage is said to show the ageing performer grooming the child aboard a magic carpet.
“It’s gruesome stuff,” said one witness who preferred not to be named. “I can open your eyes, take you… over, sideways and under… a whole new world, a new fantastic point of view… when I'm way up here, it's crystal clear, that now I'm in a whole new world of you… unbelievable sights, indescribable feelings… don't you dare close your eyes...”
There were dramatic scenes as Aladdin was charged when a member of the public purporting to be his mother – Widow Twanky – demonstrated outside the police station calling the performer “a very naughty boy”. It later emerged that the individual was a C list celebrity in drag.
Confirming that no new series of Aladdin are now planned, a Disney spokesman said: “We take issues of child safety very seriously. When we hired 14-year-old Snow White to work for us, we made sure she was looked after by not one but seven dirty old bachelors.”