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Star Trek: Discovery actor Anthony Rapp has accused Kevin Spacey of making a pass toward him when he was only 14. In response, Spacey tweeted his “sincerest apology” late Sunday night and came out as a gay man.
Rapp told BuzzFeed News in a story that posted online Sunday that the two met in 1986 when both were appearing in Broadway shows (Rapp in Precious Sons and Spacey in Long Day’s Journey Into Night). One night, Spacey invited Rapp to his apartment for a party; later, Rapp says, he found himself bored and watching TV in Spacey’s bedroom when he realized that he was the only one left in the apartment with the actor, who was 26 at the time.
Spacey then appeared and “sort of stood in the doorway, kind of swaying. My impression when he came in the room was that he was drunk.”
Rapp, now 46, claimed that Spacey then “picked me up like a groom picks up the bride over the threshold. But I don’t, like, squirm away initially, because I’m like, ‘What’s going on?’ And then he lays down on top of me.”
Rapp alleged that Spacey was holding him down while tightening his grip on Rapp, who was able to get away after some time.
“He was trying to seduce me,” Rapp said. “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 then went into the bathroom and closed the door.
“I was like, ‘What is happening?’” he told BuzzFeed News. “I saw on the counter next to the sink a picture of him having his arm around a man. So I think on some level I was like, ‘Oh. He’s gay. I guess.’ Then I opened the door, and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to go home now.’ He followed me to the front door of the apartment, and as I opened the door to leave, he was leaning on the front door[frame]. And he was like, ‘Are you sure you wanna go?’ I said, ‘Yes, good night,’ and then I did leave.”
Rapp said he feels lucky that nothing more happened but is still incredulous that he had that experience at age 14. He said he thought about reaching out to Spacey afterward but ultimately decided not to.
The two later crossed paths at the 1999 Tony Awards, where Rapp was performing and Spacey was nominated. He isn’t sure if Spacey has any recollection of the alleged encounter.
Said Rapp: “He looked at me, and I thought I saw some form of recognition, and I quickly looked away. I passed him and went out the door.”
Spacey, now 58, tweeted a statement late Sunday night in response, apologizing for “what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior.” He said he does not remember the encounter but is “beyond horrified” to hear Rapp’s account.
He also notes that he’s had romantic relationships with both men and women, and he’s now choosing “to live as a gay man.” Read his full statement below.
— Kevin Spacey (@KevinSpacey) October 30, 2017
Many were quick to criticize Spacey’s statement on Sunday night. And on Monday morning, GLAAD released its own statement ripping Spacey and reminding the public and the media that the focus should be on Rapp’s tale of survival and his decision to speak out.
“Coming-out stories should not be used to deflect from allegations of sexual assault,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of 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. The media and public should not gloss over that.”
For his part, Rapp said he was motivated to share his story following the numerous sexual harassment and abuse accusations coming to light against Harvey Weinstein, James Toback, Mark Halperin, former APA talent agent Tyler Grasham and others in the industry.
“Not to simply air a grievance, but to try to shine another light on the decades of behavior that have been allowed to continue because many people, including myself, being silent.… I’m feeling really awake to the moment that we’re living in, and I’m hopeful that this can make a difference,” Rapp said.
The Human Rights Campaign also voiced its support for victims of sexual assault, tweeting: “Our focus & support today/every day is w/sexual assault survivors & youth struggling to come out. We stand w/you.”
— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) October 30, 2017
Updated 9:10 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29: Spacey’s statement added.
Updated 7:59 a.m. Monday, Oct. 30: HRC’s statement added.
Updated 8:20 a.m. Monday, Oct. 30: GLAAD’s statement added.
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