Kevin Spacey: sex pest un­masked

Kevin Spacey’s house of cards is tum­bling down af­ter his con­tro­ver­sial apol­ogy for sex­u­ally as­sault­ing a teen boy

YOU (South Africa) - - CONTENTS - COM­PILED BY NICI DE WET

FOR years he played one of TV’s most con­niv­ing char­ac­ters – a ma­nip­u­la­tive, self­serv­ing mega­lo­ma­niac who even re­sorted to mur­der to get what he wanted. And he played it well. Those ex­as­per­ated asides to the cam­era, that bru­tal bul­ly­ing of un­for­tu­nate un­der­lings in the Oval Of­fice, the shock­ing schemes he con­cocted with his wife, Claire . . .

It was com­pelling stuff, watch­ing Kevin Spacey play­ing fic­tional Pres­i­dent Frank Un­der­wood in House of Cards. When that pre­car­i­ous house came tum­bling down Frank had to pull ev­ery dirty trick out of his al­ready filthy book to sal­vage what was left of his po­lit­i­cal ca­reer.

Now Spacey’s life is crash­ing down like a prover­bial house of cards – although it re­mains to be seen if he’ll be as re­silient as Frank and man­age to rise again.

Right now, it looks un­likely. Spacey (58) is about as pop­u­lar in Hol­ly­wood as Har­vey We­in­stein, the se­rial sex pest who sparked a global move­ment of peo­ple speak­ing out about their ex­pe­ri­ences of ha­rass­ment and abuse.

Ac­tor An­thony Rapp started Spacey’s down­fall, say­ing the older man tried to se­duce him at a party when Rapp was just 14 and Spacey 26 and they were both ap­pear­ing in a Broad­way play.

“He picked me up like a groom picks up the bride over the thresh­old,” he told Buz­zfeed. He then put him on a bed be­fore “try­ing to get with [me] sex­u­ally”.

He felt Spacey “press­ing into [me]” and “tight­en­ing his arms” be­fore he was able to “squirm away”.

Since then there have been many more al­le­ga­tions.

Doc­u­men­tary film­maker Tony Mon­tana says Spacey groped him in a bar in Los An­ge­les in 2003. Mex­i­can ac­tor Robert Cava­zos says he was just one of many young men Spacey made a pass at at the bar of Lon­don’s Old Vic theatre be­tween 2004 and 2015 when Spacey was artis­tic di­rec­tor there.

“It seems the only re­quire­ment was to be a male un­der the age of 30,” Cava­zos wrote on Face­book. “It was so com­mon it even be­came a lo­cal joke.”

An anony­mous man al­leges Spacey tried to rape him when he was 14 and calls the ac­tor a pae­dophile. Eight work­ers on House of Cards say he sex­u­ally ha­rassed them for years and in one case as­saulted a young man.

Harry Drey­fuss (27), son of vet­eran ac­tor Richard Drey­fuss, says he was 18 when Spacey tried to se­duce him. He says the in­ci­dent hap­pened when he went with his dad to Spacey’s Lon­don apart­ment in 2009 to re­hearse lines for a play.

In the first for­mal probe, UK po­lice have launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the ac­tor af­ter a Bri­tish man claimed he was sex­u­ally abused at the age of 23 in 2008 by the star af­ter he in­vited him into his apart­ment for a drink.

IN AN­OTHER case of his life im­i­tat­ing We­in­stein’s, Spacey’s “peo­ple” are aban­don­ing him left, right and cen­tre. Both his agent and his pub­li­cist have dumped him and stream­ing ser­vice Net­flix fired him from the sixth and fi­nal sea­son of House of Cards.

As the Daily Beast news site points out, “It’s a fall­out so epic you’d half ex­pect Kevin Spacey in char­ac­ter as Frank Un­der­wood to turn to the cam­era and purr about how he’d planned it all along.”

How things have changed. He once flew close to the sun, a golden boy in the show­biz land of milk and honey. Charis­matic and ver­sa­tile as an ac­tor, he reaped the re­wards: two Os­cars, dozens of movie roles, crit­i­cally ac­claimed stage per­for­mances and mil­lions in the bank.

There were al­ways ru­mours of his sex­u­al­ity and dodgy be­hav­iour but, like We­in­stein, they were pretty much brushed un­der the car­pet of the priv­i­leged and the pow­er­ful.

Even the strange “mug­ging in­ci­dent” in 2004 died down af­ter a while. Spacey told po­lice he’d been robbed of his cell­phone at 4am while walk­ing his dog in a South Lon­don park. Then he said he’d “fallen for a con” and had will­ingly handed over the de­vice.

Prob­a­bly cruis­ing for sex, peo­ple said, and ho­mo­pho­bic re­marks fol­lowed.

Yet any sym­pa­thy Spacey might have had among mem­bers of the LGBTQI com­mu­nity evap­o­rated in the wake of the An­thony Rapp rev­e­la­tion.

Spacey did apol­o­gise – but it was how he did it that up­set peo­ple. First he said he was “be­yond hor­ri­fied” by the story but added he “hon­estly doesn’t re­mem­ber the en­counter”.

In a se­ries of tweets he of­fers his “sin­cer­est apol­ogy for what was clearly deeply in­ap­pro­pri­ate drunken be­hav­iour” – and then he went too far.

“This story has en­cour­aged me to ad­dress other things about my life. As those clos­est to me know, in my life I’ve had re­la­tion­ships with both women and men. And now I choose to live my life as a gay man. I want to deal with this openly and hon­estly and that starts with ex­am­in­ing my own be­hav­iour.” Out­rage fol­lowed. “This isn’t 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,” said Sarah Kate El­lis, pres­i­dent of GLAAD, a prom­i­nent US gay rights or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Rosie O’Don­nell was among the first of Spacey’s peers to blast him. “F**k you Kevin,” she tweeted. “Like Har­vey we all new about you – I hope more men come for­ward @Kev­inS­pacey. No one knew de­tails – like Har­vey – but you knew both were creepy men with reps that said so.”

Ge­orge Takei, a US so­cial jus­tice ad­vo­cate, said, “Men who ha­rass or as­sault don’t do it be­cause they’re gay or straight. They do so be­cause they have the power and they choose to abuse it.”

Star Trek ac­tor Zachary Quinto agreed. Spacey didn’t come out “as a point of pride that could in­spire chil­dren”, he said. “It was a cal­cu­lated ma­nip­u­la­tion to de­flect from the se­ri­ous ac­cu­sa­tion that he at­tempted to mo­lest one.”

AS THE fall­out raged, Spacey’s es­tranged older brother, Randy Fowler, spoke to the Daily Mail about their trou­bled up­bring­ing in San Fernando, Cal­i­for­nia, say­ing his brother has his fa­ther’s “twisted genes”.

Fowler, a 62-year-old Rod Ste­wart im­per­son­ator and limo driver, claims he and Kevin were raised by a Nazi-lov­ing fa­ther who trimmed his mous­tache like Adolf Hitler’s and abused his fam­ily so badly they nick­named him The Crea­ture.

He says his dad sex­u­ally as­saulted his sons while their mom turned a blind eye.

“There was so much dark­ness in our home. It was ab­so­lutely mis­er­able.”

Kevin turned to act­ing as a lit­tle kid and changed his name to “hide from his demons”, Randy adds.

“He strug­gled with his sex­u­al­ity, al­ways deny­ing he was gay. On stage he pre­tended to be some­body else. It gave him power, trans­formed him.”

Dark child­hood, se­cret tor­ment – could it be the rea­son for Spacey’s dou­ble life? Maybe. Either way, the world will never look at him the same way again.

The speech Spacey made when ac­cept­ing his best ac­tor Os­car for Amer­i­can Beauty in 2000 has been played over and over since his down­fall be­gan.

“To my friends for point­ing out my worst qual­i­ties, I know you do it be­cause you love me,” he said. “That’s why I loved play­ing Lester – be­cause we got to see all of his worst qual­i­ties and we still grew to love him.”

Maybe his friends should have tried a bit harder.

12

Spacey linked his apol­ogy for the in­ci­dent to a state­ment that he’s gay. FAR LEFT: The Os­car win­ner has since been axed from the hit TV se­ries House of Cards. RIGHT: Ac­tor An­thony Rapp was the first to pub­licly ac­cuse Spacey of as­sault. He says he was 14 when it hap­pened.

FAR LEFT: Spacey’s late fa­ther, Thomas Ge­of­frey Fowler. MID­DLE LEFT: Kevin’s older brother, Randy Fowler is a Rod Ste­wart im­per­son­ator and limo driver. He calls their fa­ther a Nazilov­ing rapist who sex­u­ally abused his sons and beat Kevin. LEFT: Kevin with his late mother, Kath­leen.

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