“House of Cards” star Kevin Spacey apologized to actor Anthony Rapp on Sunday after Rapp accused him of making a sexual advance toward him when Rapp was 14.
In his apology Spacey revealed for the first time publicly that he is gay, a two-part statement that kicked up an immediate backlash.
In an interview with Buzzfeed, Rapp said Spacey, in 1986, picked him up, put him on his bed and “was trying to get with me sexually.” Spacey was 26 at the time, Buzzfeed reported.
Rapp, who currently stars on the TV series “Star Trek: Discovery,” told Buzzfeed he felt compelled to share the story now after seeing the conversations about sexual abuse and harassment in the entertainment industry in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein revelations.
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Rapp said he is not simply airing a grievance, but trying “to shine another light on the decades of behavior that have been allowed to continue because many people, including myself, being silent. … I’m feeling really awake to the moment that we're living in, and I'm hopeful that this can make a difference.”
Spacey said in his apology that he did not remember the incident Rapp described.
“I have a lot of respect and admiration for Anthony Rapp as an actor. I’m beyond horrified to hear this story. I honestly do not remember the encounter. It would have been over 30 years ago,” Spacey wrote in a lengthy tweet.
“But if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior and I am sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him all these years.”
Rapp began acting at age 9 and first met Spacey while they were both performing on Broadway, he told Buzzfeed. Rapp was one of the original cast members of the hit musical “Rent.”
In July 2016, Rapp co-starred as Lucas in the musical “If/Then” at Starlight Theatre, reprising the role he played on Broadway.
In 1986, Rapp said he met Spacey at a post-show party and Spacey invited him to a party a few days later at his Manhattan apartment.
Rapp said he went to the party alone and when he got bored he went into a bedroom where he watched TV past midnight.
He told Buzzfeed when Spacey appeared drunk when came into the room.
"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 told Buzzfeed.
He said he felt like Spacey was trying to seduce him.
“I don't know if I would have used that language. But I was aware that he was trying to get with me sexually,” he told Buzzfeed.
He said he felt Spacey “pressing into me” and “tightening his arms.” He managed to get away and leave.
Rapp, who is now 46, said he has never spoken with Spacey since that night. He described being angry and frustrated as he watched Spacey’s career skyrocket.
In June Spacey made a quiet visit to Kansas City to watch his fellow “House of Cards” star Nathan Darrow perform in the he Heart of America Shakespeare Festival.
Rapp said his “stomach churns” when he sees him now. “I still to this day can't wrap my head around so many aspects of it. It’s just deeply confusing to me,” he said.
Spacey, who has been famously private about his private life, said in his statement that Rapp’s story “encouraged me to address other things about my life.
“I know that there are stories out there about me and that some have been fueled 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 behavior.”
Spacey’s decision to come out as gay in an apology for alleged sexual misconduct angered people, including activists, Hollywood celebrities and actress Rose McGowan, who broke the Weinstein scandal and in recent weeks has become a leading voice against sexual abuse and harassment in Hollywood and elsewhere.
“No no no no no!” tweeted comedian Wanda Sykes, who came out as gay in 2008. “You do not get to ‘choose’ to hide under the rainbow! Kick rocks!”
“Nope to Kevin Spacey’s statement. Nope,” tweeted Dan Savage, who writes the column “Savage Love.”
“There’s no amount of drunk or closeted that excuses or explains away assaulting a 14-year-old child.”