Net­flix cuts all ties with Spacey amid sex­ual as­sault al­le­ga­tions

Austin American-Statesman Sunday - - MORE OF TODAY’S TOP NEWS - By An­drew Dal­ton

LOS AN­GE­LES — Net­flix said Friday night that Kevin Spacey will no longer be a part of “House of Cards” and it’s cut­ting all other ties with the ac­tor af­ter a se­ries of al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual ha­rass­ment and as­sault.

“Net­flix will not be in­volved with any fur­ther pro­duc­tion of ‘House of Cards’ that in­cludes Kevin Spacey,” the com­pany said in a state­ment.

Net­flix said it will work with the show’s pro­duc­tion com­pany MRC to eval­u­ate whether it will con­tinue with­out him.

The 58-year-old Spacey was nom­i­nated for best drama ac­tor Emmy Awards dur­ing each of the show’s first five sea­sons, but never won. He played a ruth­less politi­cian who as­cends to the pres­i­dency of the United States. Co-star Robin Wright is also a cen­tral player on the show, and it could con­ceiv­ably con­tinue with a fo­cus on her.

Pro­duc­tion on the show had al­ready been sus­pended on Tues­day.

Net­flix says it also will refuse to re­lease the film “Gore,” in which Spacey stars as the writer Gore Vi­dal and also acted as pro­ducer.

CNN re­ported that eight cur­rent or for­mer “House of Cards” work­ers claim that Spacey made the pro­duc­tion a “toxic” work­place and one ex-em­ployee al­leges the ac­tor sex­u­ally as­saulted him.

Spacey has not been ar­rested or charged with any crime. His pub­li­cist did not im­me­di­ately re­turn an email mes­sage late Friday night seek­ing com­ment. A pub­li­cist said ear­lier this week that Spacey is “tak­ing the time nec­es­sary to seek eval­u­a­tion and treat­ment.”

The Academy Award-win­ning ac­tor be­came en­snared in Hol­ly­wood’s fast-grow­ing sex­ual ha­rass­ment cri­sis af­ter ac­tor An­thony Rapp al­leged Spacey made sex­ual ad­vances to­ward him in 1986, when Rapp was 14. Spacey has said he doesn’t re­mem­ber the al­leged en­counter re­ported by Buz­zFeed News last week­end but apol­o­gized if such “drunken be­hav­ior” oc­curred.

The story spurred sev­eral oth­ers to come for­ward with sim­i­lar al­le­ga­tions about Spacey.

London po­lice are re­port­edly in­ves­ti­gat­ing Spacey for a 2008 sex­ual as­sault, Bri­tish me­dia re­ported Friday.

Po­lice did not iden­tify Spacey by name but said the de­part­ment’s child abuse and sex­ual of­fenses unit is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the re­ported as­sault af­ter it was re­ferred to po­lice ear­lier this week.

Spacey is the lat­est high pro­file Hol­ly­wood fig­ure to lose work and stand­ing in a wave that be­gan when dozens of sex­ual ha­rass­ment al­le­ga­tions were re­ported last month against film mogul Har­vey We­in­stein.

We­in­stein is un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion in Los An­ge­les, Bev­erly Hills, London and New York for pos­si­ble crim­i­nal cases af­ter sev­eral women ac­cused him of sex­ual as­sault or rape.

Also Friday, Hamil­ton Fish, pub­lisher of The New Re­pub­lic, re­signed amid al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual ha­rass­ment.

In a com­pany memo shared with The As­so­ci­ated Press, magazine owner Win McCor­mack wrote that Fish’s res­ig­na­tion was ef­fec­tive im­me­di­ately and that an in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion would con­tinue. Fish, who joined The New Re­pub­lic in 2016, had been placed on leave of ab­sence last week. He is a for­mer pub­lisher of The Na­tion.

“As I un­der­stand it, some em­ploy­ees, to my deep dis­may, com­plained this week that my pres­ence had led them to feel un­com­fort­able at The New Re­pub­lic,” Fish wrote to McCor­mack in a memo Friday that was also shared with the AP. “Women have long­stand­ing and pro­found con­cerns with re­spect to their treat­ment in the work­place. Many men have a lot to learn in this re­gard. I know I do, and I hope for and en­cour­age that new di­rec­tion.” WASH­ING­TON — The na­tion’s chief law en­force­ment of­fi­cer is find­ing him­self in a fa­mil­iar spot: be­lit­tled by the pres­i­dent, pres­sured to in­ves­ti­gate po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents and sucked back into the cen­ter of the storm around the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s cam­paign ties to Rus­sia.

In Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s Cab­i­net, At­tor­ney Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions ap­pears to be per­pet­u­ally in the hot seat, yet he has made clear he’s not go­ing any­where. In an ad­min­is­tra­tion where top aides serve at the pres­i­dent’s dis­plea­sure, the for­mer Alabama sen­a­tor has shown he is more than will­ing to ab­sorb the blows.

Trump paused Friday to hit Ses­sions with yet an­other in­dig­nity just be­fore he left the White House for a 12-day Asia trip in­creas­ingly col­ored by his do­mes­tic po­lit­i­cal trou­bles. Asked if he would fire the at­tor­ney gen­eral if he doesn’t in­ves­ti­gate his Demo­cratic po­lit­i­cal ri­vals, Trump said, “I don’t know.” He con­tin­ued to vent his frus­tra­tion with the top prose­cu­tor.

“I’m not re­ally in­volved with the Jus­tice De­part­ment,”


This im­age re­leased by Net­flix shows Kevin Spacey in a scene from the se­ries “House Of Cards.”

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