In the past few weeks, Hollywood has been rocked with many charges of sexually inappropriate behavior, most notably directed at former Miramax president and head of The Weinstein Company, Harvey Weinstein. But following the accusations leveled at Weinstein, others are coming forward with accounts of their own and ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ star Anthony Rapp is among them.
In an article first posted on BuzzFeed, Rapp recounted a story of when he was only 14 years old, working as an actor on Broadway, when Kevin Spacey, then 26, invited him to his apartment for a party. At the end of the night, Rapp realized everyone else had gone home. As he recalled:
“My memory was that I thought, Oh, everybody’s gone. Well, yeah, I should probably go home. [Spacey] sort of stood in the doorway, kind of swaying. My impression when he came in the room was that he was drunk. 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 don’t know if I would have used that language. But I was aware that he was trying to get with me sexually.”
Rapp stated that his reason for now coming forward, is not simply an attack against Spacey:
“And not to simply air a grievance, but to try 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.”
Rapp recounts the intense anxiety he felt as Spacey’s fame grew throughout the 1990s and he was forced to see his one-time attacker so prominently. And since they both worked largely in the theater, they did happen to cross paths a couple of times. Though there were no witnesses, some close to Rapp have confirmed that at various points he has shared the details of this experience with them.
As far as Spacey, it would be natural for him to simply deny and dismiss these accusations. It happens all the time in similar cases of sexual misconduct. And even though Rapp is well known to theater fans and thanks to ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ is gaining a higher profile, Kevin Spacey is still a Tony and Oscar-winning actor and a major star. He could easily deny these accusations– especially considering how long ago this encounter allegedly happened and the fact that Rapp was a young teenager who may have mistaken Spacey’s actions and intents. But Spacey didn’t.
Via Twitter, the actor issued a lengthy apology and– more shockingly– took the opportunity to come out of the closet. Spacey’s sexuality has always been gossiped about, but he has historically deflected all speculation by insisting that he simply wanted to keep his private life private.
Here is Spacey’s full tweet:
— Kevin Spacey (@KevinSpacey) October 30, 2017
Now it’s a matter of whether or not Rapp reacts to this apology. It sounds as though the encounter caused him a great deal of distress in his life. Are Spacey’s words enough to alleviate that?
And will the public accept this? The act of coming out is usually praised as brave, but in this case, in the midst of a potential scandal, will it still be viewed as such? (After all, there’s still the matter of Rapp’s being 14 at the time of the assault.)
GLAAD (the Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) isn’t so quick to accept Spacey’s mea culpa. GLAAD’s presidenta nd CEO Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD issued a statement saying:
“Coming-out stories should not be used to deflect from allegations of sexual assault. 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.”
With Harvey Weinstein seemingly dethroned, will Spacey’s career also crash and burn? We’ll have to wait and see.
‘Star Trek: Discovery’ is available to stream on CBS All Access, with new episodes available every Sunday night.