Spacey’s com­ing-out story arouses anger

The Daily Courier - - LIFE & ARTS -

NEW YORK (AP) — It was an apol­ogy that man­aged to trig­ger even more anger.

Kevin Spacey's state­ment of re­gret af­ter be­ing ac­cused of try­ing to se­duce for­mer child ac­tor An­thony Rapp has kicked up a back­lash when the two-time Os­car win­ner then chose to come out of the closet, prompt­ing many to ques­tion the tim­ing and ac­cus­ing the ac­tor of try­ing to change the sub­ject.

"Kevin Spacey re­ally tried to throw the en­tire LGBT com­mu­nity un­der a bus and call it sol­i­dar­ity in an ef­fort to mask his per­sonal fail­ings," wrote civil rights ac­tivist DeRay Mckes­son on Twit­ter.

Sarah Kate El­lis, pres­i­dent and CEO of the gay rights group GLAAD, said in a state­ment that the story was re­ally about un­wanted sex­ual ad­vances on Rapp, not Spacey's sex­u­al­ity. "Com­ing out sto­ries should not be used to de­flect from al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual as­sault," she said.

The con­tro­versy be­gan when Rapp told Buz­zFeed News that he was at­tend­ing a party at Spacey's apart­ment in 1986 when an ine­bri­ated 26-year-old Spacey picked him up, placed him on his bed, and climbed on top of him. Rapp, then 14, was able to get away with­out any phys­i­cal harm.

Spacey re­sponded on Twit­ter by say­ing he doesn't re­mem­ber the al­leged en­counter but if he acted the way Rapp al­leges, "I owe him the sin­cer­est apol­ogy for what would have been deeply in­ap­pro­pri­ate drunken be­hav­iour."

The "House of Cards" star then said Rapp's story "en­cour­aged" him to ad­dress long-sim­mer­ing ru­mours about his sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion. He wrote that he's had ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ships with both men and women in the past but is now liv­ing "as a gay man" and wanted to be hon­est so he could ex­am­ine "my own be­hav­iour." Re­quests for com­ment went unan­swered Mon­day.

The two-para­graph state­ment -an apol­ogy in the first for a 31year-old al­leged as­sault and a self­out­ing in the sec­ond -- struck many as an odd time for Spacey to ad­dress his sex­u­al­ity. Worse, he seemed to make a con­nec­tion be­tween be­ing gay and sex­ual abuse of mi­nors.

"You do not get to 'choose' to hide un­der the rain­bow!" co­me­dian Wanda Sykes, an out­spo­ken mem­ber of the LGBT com­mu­nity, wrote on Twit­ter. Co­me­dian Billy Eichner also crit­i­cized the move: "Kevin Spacey has just in­vented some­thing that has never ex­isted be­fore: a bad time to come out."

Rapp's al­le­ga­tions come a few weeks af­ter dozens of women came for­ward to ac­cuse movie mogul Har­vey We­in­stein of sex­ual ha­rass­ment or as­sault, trig­ger­ing sim­i­lar ac­cu­sa­tions across a va­ri­ety of work­places. On Mon­day, one of those ac­cused — po­lit­i­cal jour­nal­ist Mark Halperin — was fired by NBC for al­le­ga­tions against him that arose last week.

Rapp cited the many We­in­stein ac­cusers for the rea­son he re­counted his en­counter with Spacey.

"I came for­ward with my story, stand­ing on the shoul­ders of the many coura­geous women and men who have been speak­ing out to shine a light and hope­fully make a dif­fer­ence, as they have done for me," he wrote on Twit­ter. Rapp, who starred on Broad­way

The As­so­ci­ated Press

Ac­tor Kevin Spacey says he is “beyond hor­ri­fied” by al­le­ga­tions that he made sex­ual ad­vances on a teen boy in 1986. Spacey posted that he does not re­mem­ber the en­counter but apol­o­gizes for the be­hav­ior.

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