Another darling of Hollywood accused of being a predator. Once again everyone knew: How stories of Kevin Spacey’s behaviour have long alarmed others in the industry

Tuesday, October 31, 2017
By Paul Martin

31 October 2017

From Machiavellian US politician Francis Underwood in House of Cards to crime boss Keyser Soze in The Usual Suspects, Kevin Spacey has played a range of highly believable villains.

Behind the on-screen facade he is one of Hollywood’s most popular and bankable stars, a highly-respected thespian with two Oscars to his name.

Whether gushing about Barack Obama, paying court to Venezuela’s former socialist strongman Hugo Chavez or joining British actor Jude Law on the streets of Belarus to support the democracy movement, Spacey is one of the acting world’s liberal lions.

The humanitarian champion has even set up a charitable foundation in his name to mentor young performers trying to break into show business. He is also a committed Anglophile, lauded by the British arts establishment and awarded not only a CBE but an honorary knighthood for his work at London’s Old Vic.

Yesterday, however, the 58-year-old was plunged into a sex scandal that is inviting comparisons with the uproar generated by the Harvey Weinstein allegations.

Fellow actor Anthony Rapp accused Spacey of sexually assaulting him when he was 14. Spacey apologised but said he cannot remember the alleged incident.

‘The older I get, and the more I know, I feel very fortunate that something worse didn’t happen,’ Rapp said. ‘And at the same time, the older I get, the more I can’t believe it. I could never imagine [that] anyone else I know would do something like that to a 14-year-old boy.’

The comparison with the disgraced Weinstein, whom dozens of women have accused of sexual harassment and far worse, may be pertinent in that, as Spacey himself acknowledged, his sexual behaviour has been the subject of intense debate and rumours for years.

Although Rapp’s allegations mark the first time Spacey has been accused of targeting a child, it’s clear stories of his behaviour have long alarmed others in a famously tolerant industry.

And whether it was unwitting or not, Spacey’s refusal to discuss his sexuality over the years has allowed his fans to deflect stories alleging his targeting of young men as homophobia.

In 2004, eyebrows were raised when Spacey, who was living in London, claimed he was mugged in a park in Lambeth, South London, at 4am but then dropped the complaint.

In 2015, the now defunct showbusiness gossip site Gawker ran a score of emails – sent anonymously by readers – listing the way in which the actor allegedly targeted young men. On that website, a source on the production team of House Of Cards, the acclaimed Netflix remake of the 1990 BBC mini-series, claimed Spacey solicited male crew members in their early 20s for sex in his trailer.

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