Kevin Spacey Accused of 30-Year-Old Sexual Assault, Comes out as Gay in Response
Actor Kevin Spacey has been accused of making an unwanted sexual advances toward ‘Star Trek’ actor Anthony Rapp (right), who claims he was 14 years-old at the time of the alleged incident in 1986. According to Rapp, Spacey, who was 26 at the time, lay on top of him in bed and tried to “seduce” him.
Rapp recounted that Spacey invited him to a party at his Manhattan apartment, which would not have seemed unusual to Rapp’s parents given that he was already autonomous in many ways due to his acting career. After Rapp spent most of the party watching TV in the bedroom out of boredom (almost everyone else there was an adult), he recalled that Spacey appeared in front of the room and “sort of stood in the doorway, kind of swaying. My impression when he came in the room was that he was drunk.”
He added, “He picked me up like a groom picks up the bride over the threshold. But I don’t, like, squirm away initially, because I’m like, ‘What’s going on?’ And then he lays down on top of me.”
Spacey, star of Netflix show House of Cards and former artistic director of London’s Old Vic theatre, apologized after BuzzFeed published Rapp’s allegations, saying he did not remember the “encounter”. If he did what Rapp described, it “would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior”, he added.
Spacey also formally came out as gay in the same statement on Sunday night – a move that outraged LGBT activists and actors, who said it was a cruel deflection that caused harm by linking his sexuality to an allegation of child abuse, fueling the homophobic myth that gay men are predators.
To some, the Spacey controversy has been a painful reminder that young gay actors can be particularly vulnerable to mistreatment – and that influential men wield their power to abuse both men and women.
“It’s a pervasive problem in Hollywood,” said Los Angeles attorney Toni Jaramilla, who has represented men in the entertainment industry in sexual harassment cases. She said that men can be coerced into sex or assaulted in professional contexts and are often afraid to speak out: “The common challenge is the fear of not being believed and the fear of having the situation turned around against them, to suggest that they are instigating it, or they are finding opportunities to sleep their way into a role.”
Rapp, an openly gay actor known for his role in the original cast of the musical Rent, said he was compelled to speak out following the avalanche of harassment and rape allegations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein, whose behavior has been called an “open secret”.