Al­le­ga­tions shake up Spacey’s house of cards

Winnipeg Free Press - - NEWS - AMY B WANG AND ELAHE IZADI

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.

JOHN WOODS / WIN­NIPEG FREE PRESS

Thrills and chills can get hearts rac­ing on Hal­loween, and now some re­cre­ation de­part­ments are of­fer­ing treats of swim­ming and skat­ing passes to kids in­stead of a su­gar rush.

EVAN AGOS­TINI / INVISION

Kevin Spacey says he is ‘be­yond hor­ri­fied’ by al­le­ga­tions that he made sex­ual ad­vances on a teen boy in 1986.

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