Kevin Spacey em­broiled in Hol­ly­wood’s lat­est sex­ual mis­con­duct scan­dal

Stabroek News - - WORLD NEWS -

(Reuters) - Ac­tor Kevin Spacey has apol­o­gized for an al­leged at­tempt to se­duce a 14-year-old boy more than 30 years ago, an en­counter the two-time Os­car win­ner de­nied re­call­ing but at­trib­uted to drunk­en­ness as he also came out as a gay man on Twit­ter.

But rather than tem­per­ing an up­roar over the al­le­ga­tion, Spacey’s com­bi­na­tion of an apol­ogy with a state­ment go­ing pub­lic about his sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion stirred a back­lash against the ac­tor as Hol­ly­wood found it­self em­broiled in yet an­other sex scan­dal.

Ad­ding fuel to the lat­est con­tro­versy was news yes­ter­day that Net­flix will soon end the land­mark po­lit­i­cal drama “House of Cards,” which stars Spacey as a cor­rupt and clos­eted bi­sex­ual U.S. pres­i­dent.

Net­flix Inc did not give an ex­plicit rea­son for de­cid­ing to air just one more sea­son of “House of Cards” be­fore pulling the plug on the Emmy-win­ning, crit­i­cally ac­claimed show, its first orig­i­nal hit se­ries.

Net­flix spokes­woman Karen Bar­ra­gan said the de­ter­mi­na­tion was made months ago, long be­fore the al­le­ga­tion sur­faced against Spacey, 58, who is also a Tony-win­ning ac­tor and for­mer cre­ative direc­tor of Lon­don’s famed Old Vic the­ater.

But the in­ter­net stream­ing ser­vice and the show’s pro­duc­ers is­sued a joint state­ment say­ing they were “deeply trou­bled” by the ac­cu­sa­tion lev­eled against Spacey by ac­tor An­thony Rapp, 46, a mem­ber of CBS’s new “Star Trek: Dis­cov­ery” se­ries.

Ac­cord­ing to Rapp, in an in­ter­view pub­lished late on Sun­day by Buz­zFeed, Spacey in 1986 made an un­wanted sex­ual ad­vance to­ward him when he was just 14 at the time.

Rapp said the en­counter oc­curred af­ter a party Spacey hosted at his New York apart­ment, where he said Spacey, then 26, found him watch­ing TV alone at the end of the night when other guests had left, then car­ried him to a bed and lay down on top of him.

Rapp said he had the im­pres­sion that Spacey was drunk, pushed him away and left.

“He was try­ing to se­duce me,” Rapp told Buz­zFeed. “I don’t know if I would have used that lan­guage. But I was aware that he was try­ing to get with me sex­u­ally.”

Rapp was just start­ing his ca­reer on Broad­way in a pro­duc­tion of “Pre­cious Sons” at the time and went on to star in the hit mu­si­cal “Rent.” Spacey was then ap­pear­ing in a Broad­way re­vival of Eu­gene O’Neill’s “Long Day’s Jour­ney Into Night.”

Rapp told Buz­zFeed he re­mained un­nerved by the ex­pe­ri­ence decades later and felt com­pelled to come for­ward af­ter dozens of women re­cently ac­cused movie mogul Har­vey We­in­stein and sev­eral other Hol­ly­wood fig­ures of sex­ual as­sault and sex­ual harass­ment.

We­in­stein, who has since been ex­pelled from the Academy of Mo­tion Pic­ture Arts and Sci­ences and the Pro­duc­ers Guild of Amer­ica, has de­nied en­gag­ing in non-con­sen­sual sex with any­one.

Spacey said in a Twit­ter post on Sun­day that he was “beyond hor­ri­fied” by Rapp’s ac­count, which he said he did not re­call.

“But if I did be­have then as he de­scribes, I owe him the sin­cer­est apol­ogy for what would have been deeply in­ap­pro­pri­ate drunken be­hav­iour, and I am sorry for the feel­ings he de­scribes hav­ing car­ried with him all these years,” Spacey tweeted.

Spacey went on to say that Rapp’s story “had en­cour­aged me to ad­dress other things in my life.”

“As those clos­est to me know, in my life I have had re­la­tion­ships with both men and women. I have loved and had ro­man­tic en­coun­ters with men through­out my life, I now choose to live life as a gay man,” wrote Spacey, who had not pre­vi­ously ad­dressed sex­u­al­ity pub­licly.

Spacey im­me­di­ately came un­der fire on so­cial me­dia for what many saw as a disin­gen­u­ous con­fla­tion of an apol­ogy for sex­ual mis­con­duct with a pub­lic ac­knowl­edge­ment of be­ing gay.

“Com­ing-out sto­ries should not be used to de­flect from al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual as­sault,” said Sarah Kate El­lis, pres­i­dent of the Gay and Les­bian Al­liance Against Defama­tion (GLAAD). “This is not a com­ing-out story about Kevin Spacey, but a story of sur­vivor­ship by An­thony Rapp and all those who bravely speak out against un­wanted sex­ual ad­vances.” his

A rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Spacey did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to a Reuters re­quest for com­ment.

An Os­car win­ner for “The Usual Sus­pects” and “Amer­i­can Beauty,” Spacey is best known lately for his role as the ruth­less fic­tional pres­i­dent Frank Un­der­wood in “House of Cards.”

The se­ries be­came Net­flix’s defin­ing show when it launched in 2013, up­end­ing tra­di­tional tele­vi­sion view­er­ship by mak­ing all episodes of each sea­son avail­able for in­ter­net stream­ing at once.

Spacey will next be seen on the big screen play­ing Jean Paul Getty in Ri­d­ley Scott’s drama “All The Money in the World,” sched­uled for re­lease by Sony Pic­tures in De­cem­ber for pos­si­ble awards con­sid­er­a­tion.

An­thony Rapp (left) and Kevin Spacey

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