HOLLYWOOD — The intensely private Kevin Spacey found himself at the center of the latest Hollywood sex scandal Oct. 30 after publicly apologizing to “Star Trek: Discovery” actor Anthony Rapp, who says he was the victim of an unwanted sexual advance from Spacey in 1986, when Rapp was 14 years old.
In his statement, Spacey — who was 26 at the time of the alleged encounter with Rapp — also confirmed he is gay, saying he chooses “now to live as a gay man.”
Rapp, 46, came forward with his allegation in a BuzzFeed article published Oct. 29. The article described an encounter with Spacey that transpired when Rapp was a teen working on Broadway in New York.
Rapp said he wandered into the bedroom and spent the evening watching TV after a party at Spacey’s apartment.
Then, Spacey entered. “He picked me up like a groom picks up the bride over the threshold,” he said. “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.
“He was trying to seduce me,” Rapp said. “I was aware that he was trying to get with me sexually.”
Rapp said he has wrestled with the events of that night for decades and was emboldened to share his story by recent accusations of sexual assaults by dozens of women speaking out against disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Spacey responded to Rapp’s allegations on Twitter less than three hours after Rapp’s story appeared online.
“I have a lot of respect and admiration for Anthony Rapp as an actor. I’m beyond horrified to hear his story,” he said.
He said he does not remember the encounter, which would have occurred more than 30 years ago. “But if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior, and I am sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him all these years.”
Spacey then revealed he is gay.
Reactions on Twitter were hostile toward Spacey, as reflected in a tweet from gay author Dan Savage.
“Nope to Kevin Spacey’s statement. Nope. There’s no amount of drunk or closeted that excuses or explains away assaulting a 14-year-old child,” Savage tweeted.
Other critics, including comedian/actress Wanda Sykes, reacted similarly, accusing Spacey of announcing he is gay as a way of distracting attention from the alleged attempted assault of a teenage boy.
In the midst of the growing debate, news broke through the Hollywood Reporter that Netflix plans to cancel Spacey’s hit series “House of Cards” following its upcoming sixth season. The Hollywood Reporter noted that the decision to end the show was actually made months ago, but the timing of the public announcement following Rapp’s accusation still raised eyebrows.
Netflix and the show’s production company, Media Rights Capital, issued a joint statement in response to the allegation against Spacey.
“Media Rights Capital and Netflix are deeply troubled by last night’s news concerning Kevin Spacey. In response to last night’s revelations, executives from both of our companies arrived in Baltimore this afternoon to meet with our cast and crew to ensure that they continue to feel safe and supported. As previously scheduled, Kevin Spacey is not working on set at this time.”
The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced Oct. 30 it would not present Spacey with its Founder’s Award “in light of recent events.”