Kevin Spacey has been widely criticised for his response to allegations of sexual assault by the actor Anthony Rapp.

On Sunday Buzzfeed reported that Rapp has accused actor Kevin Spacey of making sexual advances to him when he was 14. He says the incident occurred in 1986 at a party in Spacey’s New York apartment, while he was starring in a Broadway production of Precious Sons.

‘He 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 said, ‘He was trying to seduce me… I was aware that he was trying to get with me sexually.’

Rapp – who managed to leave the apartment after going to the bathroom – says he felt emboldened to speak out about the incident following the flood of accusations against, among others, producer Harvey Weinstein and director James Toback.

Kevin spacey sexual assault

Following the allegations, Spacey released the following statement on Twitter:

‘I have a lot of respect and admiration for Anthony Rapp as an actor. I’m beyond horrified to hear his story. I honestly do not remember the encounter, it would have been over 30 years ago. But if I did behave as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behaviour, and I am sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him all these years.’

‘This story has encouraged me to address other things about my life. I know that there are stories out there about me and that some have been fuelled by the fact that I have been so protective of my privacy. As those closest to me know, in my life I have had relationships with both men and women. I have loved and had romantic encounters with men throughout my life, and I choose now to live as a gay man. I want to deal with this honestly and openly and that starts with examining my own behaviour.’ 

But Spacey’s statement has been widely criticised for apparently using the revelation about his sexuality as a smokescreen.

Among those to criticise Spacey were actress Rose McGowan – who brought the initial accusation against Harvey Weinstein – author Dan Savage and actor and comedian Billy Eichner.

But few put it better than presenter Sue Perkins, who tweeted: ‘Well done Kev. You stay silent on your sexuality until the time comes when you can conflate it with an alleged sexual assault on a minor. In doing so, you simultaneously undervalue the horrific nature of the allegation and set back the LGBT+ community. Well done.’

Twitter user Andrew Katz replied to Perkins, ‘Exactly. “I’m confused about my sexuality” is not the same as “I’m confused about whether I’m a sexual predator or not”’

Or as the comedian Billy Eichner put it, ‘Kevin Spacey has just invented something that has never existed before: a bad time to come out.’

FROM: Our sister site, Marie Claire. Written by Lucy Pavia.