Actor Anthony Rapp (Rent, Star Trek: Discovery) has accused Kevin Spacey (American Beauty, House of Cards) of making sexual advances on him when he was 14 years old in 1986 — and the Academy Award winner has responded by denying memory of the incident, and coming out as attracted to men.
Rapp told BuzzFeed News that, after a party, Spacey — then 26 — drunkenly picked him up, escorted him to bed, and lay on top of him. Rapp was able to escape his grasp and flee the scene.
He said he has since come forward after being empowered by the women speaking out against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
A few hours after the news broke, Spacey took to Twitter to say that he “honestly [does] not remember the encounter”, but had he done it, he offers “the sincerest apology”.
He then took the time to say that while he has had relationships with both men and women, he has chosen now “to live life as a gay man”.
— Kevin Spacey (@KevinSpacey) October 30, 2017
Many on Twitter were outraged at this response, which they deemed a ploy to spin the story away from the alleged pedophilic behaviour and onto an empowering coming out story. This action is considered especially appalling when recognising that many homophobic arguments target the effect on children.
Kevin Spacey willfully harmed a child and then turned and painted a target on the Gay community’s back- like the coward he apparently is
— Shanelle Little (@ShanelleLittle) October 30, 2017
Coming out as a gay man is not the same thing as coming out as someone who preyed on a 14-year-old. Conflating those things is disgusting
— Richard Lawson (@rilaws) October 30, 2017
But this isn’t the first time Spacey has been accused of sexual misconduct, and it isn’t the first time with a minor, either.
A few weeks ago, journalist Heather Unruh claimed Spacey had “assaulted a loved one”, and literary agent Connor Goldsmith said that he was told Spacey “preys on young teen boys”.
— Heather Unruh (@HeatherUnruh) October 13, 2017
One of the very first things I was told as a young gay man working in media, nearly a decade ago, was that Kevin Spacey preys on teen boys.
— Connor Goldsmith (@dreamoforgonon) October 30, 2017
Rapp told BuzzFeed News that he is eager to work to create infrastructure in the industry that prevents predatory behaviour.