Citing bad publicity from his recent arrest on drug charges, actor Todd Bridges resigned as head of the youth center he founded.

Bridges denied using narcotics or alcohol for the last nine months, but told a gathering of about 20 people at the center Thursday that he was leaving because he didn’t want the center to suffer.

“When things happen, people tend to shy away,” said Bridges, 27. “Everyone knows the battle I’ve been fighting all of my life and more and more people are fighting. When things are revealed, I think things will come to the light once again.”

The former child star of TV’s “Diff’rent Strokes” founded the Todd Bridges Youth Foundation two years ago in Compton.

Bridges was arrested Tuesday while driving in Burbank.

Police found 1 1/2 grams of methamphetamine and a loaded 9mm handgun in his car, said Sgt. Don Goldberg.

Bridges was released from City Jail Wednesday on $ 10,000 bail.

Bridges told reporters after being released that the car was not his and he did not know what was in it. Bridges also denied being under the influence.

Bridges organized the foundation after he was acquitted in the 1990 shooting of a drug dealer in a South Central Los Angeles rock-cocaine house.

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