Allegations shake up Spacey’s house of cards
FOR a few hours after a bombshell BuzzFeed interview in which actor Anthony Rapp alleged Kevin Spacey had made a sexual advance toward him more than 30 years ago, when Rapp was just 14, Spacey remained silent.
Then, at precisely midnight, the Oscar-winning actor and star of Netflix hit House of Cards posted a twoparagraph statement on Twitter.
In the first, Spacey said he was “beyond horrified” to hear Rapp’s story but did not remember the encounter, which would have taken place when Spacey was 26. However, he apologized “if I did behave then as [Rapp] describes... for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior.”
Then, in the second paragraph, Spacey came out as gay.
“This story has encouraged me to address other things about my life,” he wrote. “I have loved and had romantic encounters with men throughout my life, and I choose now to live as a gay man. I want to deal with this honestly and openly and that starts with examining my own behavior.”
For years, the actor has danced around rumours he had relationships with other men.
His late-night statement outraged many, particularly in the LGBT community, who accused Spacey of trying to deflect from a serious accusation — making a sexual advance on a minor — by coming out and implying that it was his choice to be gay.
Even worse, they said, was the implication that the two might be related in any way.
“Kevin Spacey has set gay rights back fifty years by a) conflating homosexuality with” Rupp’s allegations, one Twitter user said, “and b) Saying that being gay is a ‘choice.’ “
Soon, Twitter was flooded with memes from people who were equally dumbfounded and angered by Spacey’s approach to the allegations.
Rapp told BuzzFeed he was in Spacey’s apartment for a party in 1986, and that at the end of the night, Spacey picked him up, placed him on a bed and climbed on top of him, making an advance.
The two had known each other for their Broadway work; Rapp, a child actor at the time, was 14, and Spacey was 26, BuzzFeed reported.
Reports detailing allegations of ongoing sexual harassment and abuse by movie mogul Harvey Weinstein prompted Rapp to speak publicly about Spacey; he had told close friends about the encounter throughout the 1990s and 2000s, BuzzFeed reported.
“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,” Rapp said on Twitter after Spacey’s statement. “Everything I wanted to say about my experience is in that article, and I have no further comment about it at this time.”
Netflix and the producer of House of Cards say they are “deeply troubled” by the allegation. In a joint statement, the streaming service and series’ producer Media Rights Capital say executives from the companies met with the show’s cast and crew on Monday to discuss the situation.
Spacey was not at work on the set as previously scheduled, according to the statement.
Production is underway in Baltimore for the show’s sixth season, which Netflix said Monday will be its last.
In an essay for the Daily Beast ,reporter Ira Madison III called Spacey’s decision to come out of the closet “all the more cold and calculated,” seeing as he must know it could change the subject in the wake of Rapp’s allegations.
“There’s never truly a wrong time to come out and I’d never begrudge anyone for accepting their sexuality,” Madison wrote. “But the seediness of using your coming out to deflect from a sexual assault allegation is something else entirely.”
In a widely shared tweet, the comedian Billy Eichner disagreed.
“Kevin Spacey has just invented something that has never existed before: a bad time to come out,” Eichner tweeted.
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Kevin Spacey says he is ‘beyond horrified’ by allegations that he made sexual advances on a teen boy in 1986.