On October 29th, Buzzfeed published sexual assault allegations made by actor Anthony Rapp against “House of Cards” star Kevin Spacey. Rapp, now 46, alleges that Spacey made unwanted sexual advances towards him in 1986 when Spacey was 26 and Rapp only 14. Rapp was watching television in Spacey’s bedroom during a party when, “at the end of the night, [Spacey] picked Rapp up, placed him on his bed, and climbed on top of him, making a sexual advance.” Rapp and Spacey met during the early stages of their careers when they were both performing in Broadway shows—Rapp starring in “Precious Sons” alongisde Ed Harris and Spacey in a revival of “Long Day’s Journey Into Night.” The two met during a celebratory event at which the casts of both shows were present.
Now, seven more men and eight “House Of Cards” employees have come forward with similar stories of abuse. Kris Nixon, a 30-year-old bartender, met Spacey in 2007 while working at a cocktail lounge in London that Spacey frequented during his time as artistic director of the Old Vic Theatre. Nixon and a female friend were invited to a party at Spacey’s apartment, where Spacey asked if Nixon’s friend was his girlfriend. “I made the sort of universal hand signal for yes and no, and he reached over and grabbed my dick through my jeans and said, ‘I can blow you better than her,’” Nixon told People. A couple weeks later, Spacey returned to the bar Nixon worked at. “He reached forward and grabbed my belt waistband and my trousers. He mumbled something about, ‘sorry about last week. I can make it up to you,'” Nixon alleges.
Actor Roberto Cavazos posted on Facebook alleging that Spacey made sexual advances towards him and others at the Old Vic Theatre. Filmmaker Tony Montana told Radar that Spacey forcefully grabbed his crotch at a Los Angeles bar. Spacey then followed Montana to the restroom, where Montana had to push him out the door. An anonymous man going by the pseudonym John told BBC that Spacey invited him to New York for a weekend when it became clear that Spacey was sexually interested in him. John decided to sleep on the sofa after Spacey asked him to share his bed and woke up with the actor next to him in his underwear.
In a follow up piece published by Buzzfeed, three more men spoke of similar incidents. In 1988, Justin Dawes, then 16-years-old and interested in acting, was invited along with his male friend to watch Roman Polanski’s “Chinatown” at Spacey’s apartment. When they arrived, Spacey instead made them cocktails and played pornography on the television in his living room.
Former Marine Mark Ebenhoch alleges that Spacey’s assistant asked him “to engage in a sexual act” with the actor on set of the 1995 film “Outbreak,” on which he was a military advisor.
A journalist, who chose to remain anonymous, told Buzzfeed of an incident in 2000 that occurred after interviewing Spacey at the Old Vic Theatre. Spacey invited the journalist out with some friends for drinks and once at the club, began groping him: “He just kept reaching between my legs and, you know, just grabbing my dick,” the journalist alleges. When the journalist attempted to leave, Spacey stood between him and the door and screamed at him.
In addition to the aforementioned men, eight “House Of Cards” employees spoke to CNN alleging that Spacey “displayed ‘predatory’ behavior on the set of the Netflix show, touching employees without consent and making lewd comments towards staffers who were usually young men.” All eight employees chose to remain anonymous for fear of losing their jobs.
In response to the allegations against Spacey, Media Rights Capital, the studio behind “House of Cards,” suspended the actor and has also halted production of the show’s sixth season. Variety reported that producers are considering killing off Spacey’s character. Netflix also announced that it will not be moving forward with “Gore,” a biopic on Gore Vidal that Spacey starred in and produced.
Spacey’s response to these numerous allegations of sexual assault and harassment has been minimal. A few hours after Buzzfeed published Rapp’s account, Spacey took to Twitter and stated that he has no memory of the encounter. He went on to come out as gay, an unfortunate time to do so considering the old stereotype linking homosexuality with pedophilia.
In the midst of numerous sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein, James Toback, Knight Landesman and Terry Richardson, the fashion, art and entertainment industries are scrambling to put in place regulations to stop abuse in these professions. With the firestorm of conversation surrounding the recent allegations against Spacey and other men in positions of power, we hope that all professional industries will take strides to dismantle the rape culture that both men and women encounter in the workplace far too frequently.