Kevin Spacey Reads Poem About Dejected Boxer at Rome Museum

Kevin Spacey and Poet - Getty - H - 2019
Ernesto Ruscio/Getty Images

"I chose Kevin Spacey because he is the best actor in the world," said poet Gabriele Tinti, when asked how the reading came about.

In a rare public outing, Kevin Spacey on Friday read a poem about a worn-out and lonely boxer during an appearance at a museum in Rome, just weeks after a criminal sexual misconduct case against him collapsed.

The two-time Oscar winner stood next to a bronze statue of a battered fighter at the National Roman Museum while reciting Italian poet Gabriele Tinti's The Boxer.

Tinti's poem is about a fighter left bleeding at ringside, cast aside despite previous glory. In an email to The Hollywood Reporter, Tinti clarified that the poem was "in no way" inspired by Spacey's situation, but rather, the Boxer at Rest statue. "I chose Kevin Spacey because he is the best actor in the world," said Tinti, when asked how the poetry reading came about.

Elaborating in a statement, Tinti said that he contacted Spacey and presented the project to him: "He immediately appreciated the courage and special nature of my proposal. The idea of giving voice to an ancient statuary, or giving new life to the finds, the fragments, that which remains of our past, struck a note with his sensitivity and deep love of art."

The statement continued: "His generosity and willingness to ensure that the reading took place made all the rest easy. He contributed a greater intensity of participation than I expected, proof of the great artist he is. Indeed, there is no doubt that he is one of the greatest actors alive. It was an honor for me that he agreed to read my lines; having managed to entrust them precisely to him and thus be able to hear them resound in his voice was a real privilege."

One of the lines that Spacey read was, "They used me for their entertainment, fed on shoddy stuff. Life was over in a moment."

The event, which was open to the public, allowed tourists and guests to meet Spacey. "Everyone wanted to hug him," said Tinti in his email to THR. "I've done this kind of event many times but never have I seen a warmer crowd."

Following the event, Tinti tweeted a photo of himself and the actor, alongside the caption, "With the one and only @kevinspacey! The Museum said it was an honor to have Mr. Spacey here with us to celebrate the magnificent statue of the boxer!!" One of the hashtags he used was "#Romeloveskevinspacey."

Prosecutors in Massachusetts last month dropped a case in which Spacey was accused of groping a young man at a bar in 2016.

The actor remains under investigation for alleged sexual misconduct in London and Los Angeles.