Kevin Spacey has been criticised for his response to sexual misconduct allegations by LGBTQ organisations and campaigners.
The actor recently issued a statement after he was accused of making a sexual advance towards a teenage actor more than three decades ago. In his statement, Spacey said that he didn’t “remember the encounter” but apologised if he did behave as it is alleged. He then went on to come out as gay.
Spacey’s response has been criticised by GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), who accuse the star of coming out to “deflect” attention away from the allegations.
“Coming-out stories should not be used to deflect from allegations of sexual assault,” says GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “This is not a coming-out story about Kevin Spacey, but a story of survivorship by Anthony Rapp and all those who bravely speak out against unwanted sexual advances. The media and public should not gloss over that.”
Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has also criticised Spacey, telling The Guardian: “It is tragic that it has taken allegations of sexual harassment for Kevin Spacey to finally come out as gay, after not disclosing his sexuality for decades. It is even worse that he mixes up his sexuality with inappropriate behaviour. His gayness is irrelevant. It’s his actions that have prompted concern.”
Read Spacey’s statement in full below. He has not yet responded to this latest criticism.
— Kevin Spacey (@KevinSpacey) October 30, 2017
Anthony Rapp, who was 14 at the time of the alleged incident, claims that Spacey invited him to a party at his Manhattan apartment before the incident occurred in his bedroom at the end of the night. Rapp, who is currently starring in Star Trek Discovery, told BuzzFeed News: “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. He was trying to seduce me… I was aware that he was trying to get with me sexually.” Rapp when on to say that he went to the bathroom before immediately leaving Spacey’s apartment.
Responding to the allegation, Spacey said that he does not recall the incident, and that he is “sorry for the feelings [Rapp] describes having carried with him all these years”. He also addressed “stories” about his personal life, and confirmed that he now “lives as a gay man”.
“If I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior,” Spacey wrote. “This story has encouraged me to address other things about my life. I know that there are other stories out there about me and that some have been fueled by the fact that I have been so protective of my privacy.” He added: “”I want to deal with this honestly and openly and that starts with examining my own behaviour.”