Originally Published June 11, 2021
Last Updated: February 11, 2022
by Ana Chevalier
He was one of the most bankable stars in the world. His production company was one of the first to take Netflix seriously. His name carried the weight and authority that helped put Netflix on the map. He had two Oscars under his belt and countless accolades and awards from all corners of the industry. Then in late fall 2017, a struggling internet site broke a story about Kevin Spacey sexual assault allegations. And in five days, just 120 hours, it all came crashing down.
Actor Kevin Spacey lost his job, agent, publicist, reputation and saw his bankability devalued to zero. He became a global entertainment industry pariah. His work was digitally removed, and his name became synonymous with “monster.” In less than a week, social justice warriors had transformed the man known famously worldwide for his cinematic malevolence and unflinching intensity into a real-life, flesh-and-blood demon of Hollywood.
It’s hard to imagine or find historical precedence for such a meteoric fall from grace. There have been countless Hollywood scandals during the last century of filmmaking, but Spacey’s utter obliteration seems particularly breakneck.
For the past three and a half years, Spacey’s only appearances have been through self-produced annual Youtube videos and unsuccessful legal proceedings. For all intents and purposes, Kevin Spacey had been erased.
L’uomo Che Disegnò Dio (The Man Who Drew God)
“The Man Who Drew God,” an Italian film from Director Franco Nero, will see the actor in his first role since Anthony Rapp’s sordid BuzzFeed article appeared in October 2017.
Was justice served? Did the social warrior movement of #MeToo judiciously strike down one of the entitled abusers of power and privilege?
Or was Kevin Spacey one of the first casualties in the new caste system, carving itself out on social media via metrics of allegation and likability?
In October 2017, buoyed by Ronan Farrow’s investigative reporting on Harvey Weinstein, the #MeToo movement came out swinging at high-profile men in positions of power. But despite its bluster, what was once hailed as a “global reckoning” and gave voice to numerous allegations, only managed to put seven convictions under its belt.
The allegation made by Adventures in Babysitting actor Anthony Rapp was one of the most widely publicized stories that autumn. Rapp credits his revived motivation to speak out as Lupito Nyong’o and her October 19, 2017, N.Y. Times Op-Ed about her encounters with Harvey Weinstein. I say “revived” because this wasn’t the first time he told the story.
Was Kevin Spacey one of the first casualties in the new caste system, carving itself out on social media via metrics of allegation and likeability?
Rapp previously shared his story in a 2001 interview with The Advocate not naming Spacey as his alleged assailant. Following that interview, Rapp consulted with an attorney and was advised he did not have a case “worth pursuing.”
Star Trek: Discovery Actor Anthony Rapp Joins The #MeToo Movement With Claim Of Kevin Spacey Sexual Assault When Rapp Was A Teenager
In 2017, standing on the shoulders of Nyong’o and other #MeToo victims, Rapp reached out to long-time friend Adam B. Vary to tell his sexual assault allegation story again, this time naming Spacey.
Vary was an entertainment reporter at BuzzFeed in late 2017. At that time, BuzzFeed was staring down layoffs totaling 8% of its U.S. workforce, a significant revenue shortfall, was “increasingly trying to generate revenue from its own site,” and struggling with readership loss with readers preferring “news over viral sites.”
Traditional journalism’s “two-source” rule would have seen accusations, like the one Rapp was making, verified by two independent sources. Then-Deputy-National-Editor Marisa Carroll, defended the choice to publish the salacious claim by promoting BuzzFeed’s newsroom commitment to “reporting allegations against powerful people,” citing their history of “deeply reported, true” pieces. In conversation with the BBC, Carroll noted their only verification of Rapp’s allegations was speaking with several of his friends and confirming he had shared his story with them. Without supporting evidence or witness other than the accuser, BuzzFeed published the interview.
[the below timeline has been updated to include new details]
120 Hours – Kevin Spacey Sexual Assault Allegations – A Timeline
Sunday, October 29, 2017
9:32 p.m. ET
- BuzzFeed publishes Anthony Rapp’s sexual assault allegations that Kevin Spacey made a drunken sexual advance on then 14-year-old Rapp.
Monday, October 30, 2017
1:00 a.m. ET
- Kevin Spacey posts a statement on Twitter in response to the BuzzFeed interview, saying he does not have the same recollection of their alleged interaction. Nonetheless, he apologized for “what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior” if he had, in fact, acted improperly.
12:05 p.m. ET
- Netflix cancels House Of Cards. A little over 12 hours after Anthony Rapp’s interview is published, Netflix releases their “official decision” to end its flagship show after the upcoming sixth season citing Spacey’s “deeply troubling” behavior.
5:05 p.m. ET
- Robert Cavazos posts a comment on Facebook. Cavazoz states he had a couple of “unpleasant” interactions with Kevin Spacey that “came close to being called harassment” but that the lack of “aggressive action” led him to justify Spacey’s actions as “one of those things.”
8:01 p.m. ET
- The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences–an arm of what many view to be the industry’s barometer for success–announces they will no longer honor Spacey with the 2017 Intl Emmy Founders Award.
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
1:45 p.m. ET
- Netflix indefinitely suspends production for House of Cards.
MRC [Media Rights Capital] and Netflix have decided to suspend production on ‘House of Cards’ season six, until further notice, to give us time to review the current situation and to address any concerns of our cast and crew.MRC, Netflix Joint Statement, October 31, 2017
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
- Spacey’s publicist, Staci Wolfe releases a statement that the star “is taking the time necessary to seek evaluation and treatment.
- BuzzFeed suggests Spacey has weaponized ‘the closet’ to protect him from repercussions.
Thursday, November 2, 2017
- CNN reports that eight crew members of House of Cards call Spacey’s behavior “predatory” and included “non-consensual touching.” All sources remain anonymous.
- Within hours of publication of CNN’s story above, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos sends an internal email containing the following:
Let’s announce tomorrow that there is NO scenario in which Kevin Spacey will appear in any version of a final season of the show.Ted Sarandos, Netflix co-CEO
- [Netflix officially issues Sarandos’ above comment on November 3rd (see below)]
- Several stories surface from people claiming the actor aggressively hit on them in a manner that involved groping.
- Creative Artists Agency, the actor’s representing agency for the last eight years, severs ties.
- Staci Wolf parts ways with the actor.
- Vulture runs a piece from an anonymous accuser. The accuser alleges he had an “extended sexual relationship” with Spacey when he was 14. Vulture states they found limited facts to support his claims beyond confirming Spacey taught an acting class at a certain date and location. (The anonymous man claims he first met Spacey in ’81 at the acting class). This man would come to be known as “C.D.”
Friday, November 3, 2017
- BuzzFeed reports that an anonymous actor alleged Spacey sexually assaulted him multiple times in a public place in 2013. The article does not include any additional details that can be verified.
- Netflix issues a statement. Netflix announces it will no longer “be involved” with any further House of Cards production that includes Kevin Spacey. (Spacey’s production company Trigger Street Productions released the award-winning series on Netflix in 2013.)
- Netflix addresses current production. They say they will continue to work with the House of Cards production on a “path forward,” but only without Spacey.
- Netflix later announces its decision not to move forward with the film Gore, despite its post-production status. Gore stars Kevin Spacey and is also produced by the actor.
- In an additional statement issued later that night, Netflix announces that the actor had been suspended, “effective immediately.“
At this point, the two-time Oscar winner’s career has come to a dead stop. The global mainstream media has cast him out, declaring him a “pariah.” That was the last time we saw Kevin Spacey professionally.
In this instance, virtually all major media accounts agree that social justice was swift, merciless, and righteous.
Or was it?
Weaponizing The Closet Cuts Both Ways
Spacey had long been rumored to be part of the LGBTQ community. Within the entertainment industry, it was more of a known secret. Many community leaders expressed frustration and annoyance that he kept his private life private. He had been under pressure for decades to come out into the open.
Numerous prominent gay activists and advocates criticized the joint apology / ‘coming out’ statement he issued following Rapp’s accusation. For many, it struck two all-too-familiar pain-points: 1) associating homosexuality with the targeting of minors, and 2) for “choos[ing] to live a gay man,” challenging a long-running maxim of some within the LGBTQ community that we are, as the song goes, Born This Way. (Individuals self-identifying as bi- or pan-sexual continue to have contentious disagreements on this issue as well.) Instead of rallying around one of our own, Kevin Spacey was cut loose.
Kevin Spacey Sexual Orientation: Not Alone Choosing Privacy Over Publicity
I spoke with ‘Tim C.,’ a prominent gay actor and writer. ‘Tim’ is choosing to keep his sexuality out of the conversation, much in the way Kevin Spacey did. He requested I not use his real name for fear of industry blowback. “The industry’s just not that woke,” he laughed, “they’re only woke when the camera’s rolling. Behind the scenes most days, it’s pretty much business as usual, just with a lot more people afraid to socialize.
“Kevin Spacey is the best thing to happen to Anthony Rapp’s career”
“It’s like swimming with piranhas. The water’s fine until the first drop of blood.” I asked ‘Tim’ whether being a part of the LGBTQ community was still a hot-button issue. “In my case, almost everyone here knows and who cares, right, because they [the audience] don’t know. But if I came out today, they’d sure as hell care pretty fast.”
He offered some clarification. “It’d go like this. I’d get a ton of applause for being ‘out.’ I’d trend, maybe land one or two queer roles, right, and then the reality–well, I’d lose half my bookings for the next six months or longer. I’d never play another lead–unless it was a gay one. And anyone who tells you otherwise is lying to you or to themselves.”
Out Of The Closet (And Potentially Out Of Work)
When asked about the benefit to actors, like Anthony Rapp, who has prioritized being open about his queerness from the start [Rapp himself avoids the label ‘gay,’ stating: “I haven’t said ‘I am gay.’ Because the truth is that I’ve also been in love with women.”] ‘Tim’ explained, “Let’s just say there’s a reason hardly anyone knew Rapp outside Broadway before this whole [Kevin Spacey] thing.” ‘Tim’ added, pointedly, “Kevin Spacey is the best thing to happen to Anthony Rapp’s career.”
And what about Kevin Spacey? While ‘Tim’ says he doesn’t know the actor beyond “saying hello,” he has a theory. “I always thought he just had a thing for straight guys–because they were the ones complaining. That will always land you in the sh*t.”
Most Kevin Spacey Sexual Assault Allegations Made Anonymously
Those complaints are now widely known, with the House of Cards actor accumulating more than 30 allegations, almost all of which were reported soon after the BuzzFeed article. The majority of those making Kevin Spacey sexual assault allegations share two key factors:
1) they were adults, and
2) they insisted on remaining anonymous (and subsequently, the allegations remain unable to be investigated).
While a few accusers were under eighteen, like Justin Dawes (16), who, along with a friend, allege Spacey served them alcohol and showed them gay porn, there are only two accusations involving persons below the age of consent:
- an anonymous source featured in a Vulture article known only as C.D., and
- Anthony Rapp.
Anthony Rapp Joins Lawsuit Seeking 40 Million Dollars (USD) Damages
In 2020, C.D. convinced Rapp to join him in a civil lawsuit. Their joint lawsuit sought damages against Spacey to the tune of forty million dollars each. The kicker for this case: C.D. wanted to remain anonymous throughout the court proceedings, a dangerous precedent if accepted.
The judge in the case ruled against the motion to proceed anonymously. The judge ordered C.D. to refile with his name if he wanted to continue. The decision noted that it would be impossible to adequately verify or refute the allegations without including C.D.’s name. C.D. did not choose to move forward; he did not refile with his name before the deadline expired.
That leaves Anthony Rapp as the sole accuser of underage misconduct.
Everybody Has A Kevin Spacey Story
Several months into my investigation, I learned almost everyone in Hollywood (and beyond) had a Kevin Spacey story; or more accurately, they seemed to have the same Kevin Spacey story.
While I heard the same story over and over, most weren’t first-hand. With one exception, everyone I connected with claimed to “know someone at a party” or at a club who “saw the whole thing.”
Regardless of locale, date, or environment the story seems to be almost the same: After a few drinks, his hands wander.
Norwegian writer, Ari Behn, told his Kevin Spacey story to Norwegian radio in December 2017. Behn sat next to Spacey at an afterparty nightclub. Behn said Spacey invited him to join him outside for a cigarette and then reached “under the table,” groping him. In the interview, you can hear Behn laughing as he recalls telling Spacey, “Eh, maybe later.”
Guy Pearce, Spacey’s co-star in the acclaimed film L.A. Confidential, said he remembered the actor as being “handsy.”
The general consensus appears to be, as Jim Jeffries observes in his Netflix special, This Is Me Now, Kevin Spacey seems to get “a bit grabby” after he’s had a few.
The Great Predator Who Takes ‘No’ For An Answer
Socially appropriate? Nope. Not by a long shot. But as one former partygoer–and the only person I could find who had the first-hand experience with an unwanted Kevin Spacey advance–said, “a slap on the wrist and he f*cked off. Not exactly the great predator they’re [the media] making him out to be now, is he?” As another actor close to the story offered, “sounds like he’s making a bad pass.”
Kevin Spacey Sexual Assault Lawsuits
In the four years since the downfall, the actor has been investigated by multiple law enforcement agencies in different countries for sexual offenses stemming from media coverage. To date, only three cases have been brought to court; two civil, one criminal.
The first was a civil lawsuit in 2019. In it, an anonymous masseur alleged Spacey made him touch his genitals during a massage at his Malibu home in October 2016. Spacey denied the allegations. The case, initially filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, was dismissed with prejudice. [The dismissal followed the plaintiff’s death (due to cancer)–the plaintiff’s family cannot refile the case.]
The second Kevin Spacey sexual assault lawsuit was a criminal case in 2019. This was a single count of indecent assault and battery following accusations by former Boston news anchor Heather Unruh. She publicly accused the actor of putting his hand down her adult son’s pants at The Club Car, an upscale Nantucket, Massachusetts bar, in July 2016. The case was ultimately tossed out and again dismissed with prejudice. Unruh admitted to tampering with smartphone images crucial to the case. Additionally, the plaintiff invoked the Fifth Amendment, refusing to answer questions in court.
Anthony Rapp’s case remains the only one yet to be resolved.
Kevin Spacey’s “Creep” Is Great For The Box Office (But It’s A Public Relations Nightmare)
As a thriller writer, I love a good movie or book monster. But my favorite monster to read and write about is the human monster. These multifaceted characters offer layers of conflict and subtlety. You can really sink your teeth into them whether creator or audience. They’re challenging and frustrating, terrifying and succulent. A good monster is every storyteller’s best friend.
As a culture, we love monsters. From Freddie Kruger to Pennywise, Hannibal Lecter to Frank Underwood, we love to hate characters. And when it came to breathing life into those characters we love to hate, directors turned to Kevin Spacey.
Is Kevin Spacey A Monster?
Kevin Spacey does creep–better than anyone. He brings terror and cold-blooded malevolence to both the big and small screens with ease for a simple, singular reason. Like Robin Williams, Mandy Patinkin, Adam Driver, or Kelsey Grammar, the Juilliard-trained actor has great chops. And that makes for a glorious career–unless you have a penchant for playing monsters.
Most actors don’t have to worry about audiences blurring the line between fact and fiction. But there are those rare few artists so adept at the characters they create they are forever fused with them. It’s type-casting with real-world consequences. For Kevin Spacey, it’s not just casting directors who will only consider him for certain ‘monster’ character types. Many in Spacey’s audience assume he acts that way off-screen, as well.
And that’s a problem for Kevin Spacey. When people think of him, they think of Keyser Söze and Frank Underwood–they don’t think of Mr. Fuzzypants (the CGI cat he played in the film Nine Lives). Like it or not, the characters an actor is known for, coupled with their reputation, impacts the treatment they get from the world. And the justice system.
Bill Cosby first faced public accusations of sexual misconduct in 2004. His first criminal battery and sexual assault allegations court case occurred in 2005. Assertions of sexual misconduct have followed the actor for nearly 40 years. But despite growing sexual assault allegations, more than 60 at last count, America’s favorite ‘T.V. Dad’ continued to work until late 2014, before being canceled and subsequently convicted in 2018.
[UPDATE: Oct. 14, 2021: Bill Cosby News
After serving almost three years of a maximum ten-year sentence, disgraced comedian and actor Bill Cosby walked free from the State Correctional Institution in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court threw out Cosby’s 2018 sexual assault conviction. They ruled his rights were violated pertaining to a 2005 agreement with state prosecutors.
The verbal agreement struck in 2005 with then prosecutor, Bruce L. Castor Jr., said Cosby would be immune to criminal prosecution provided he testified in a civil case brought by the same accuser, Andrea Constand. In 2018, however, a new prosecutor disregarded Castor’s earlier verbal agreement and used Cosby’s civil case testimony to convict him. Cosby settled the Constand sexual assault civil case in 2006 for $3.38 million. Bill Cosby continued to work until at least 2014.
On October 14, 2021, a new lawsuit was filed in court against Cosby by actress Lili Bernard. Bernard alleges Cosby drugged and raped her in 1990 in Atlantic City. ]
Leading man Armie Hammer began trending on January 11, 2021. The actor’s name was going viral following a series of direct graphic messages. Hammer reportedly sent the messages to multiple women, and were now being shared on social media.
The messages discuss drinking blood, sexual dominance situations, and cannibalism.
The wild sexual assault allegations found traction. Soon the the Call Me By Your Name actor found himself embroiled in scandals surrounding sexual assault and cannibalism. The actor chose to walk away from the Paramount + series The Offer on January 29, 2021, with support from Lionsgate. He was not forcibly removed from the series.
Hammer’s name circulated on social media connected to a California homicide on January 31, 2021 (San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Homicide Division has since stated Hammer’s name “hasn’t come up as a suspect“). His agent and publicist remained with him until they severed ties February 5, 2021. This is more than five times as long as it took Kevin Spacey to suffer the same fate.
And did I mention the cannibalism allegation?
The Pineapple Express co-star frequently played affable stoners or underdog heroes in his films. But in January of 2018, Franco found himself the target of sexual assault and sexual harassment allegations–five women accused the actor of sexually inappropriate or exploitative behavior. These allegations have badly damaged his career, however he is still working. Franco appeared as recently as last year in the film Kill The Czar.
The Oscar-winning actor faced sexual assault allegations not dissimilar to the one leveled at Kevin Spacey.
Two women who worked with Affleck on the 2010 film I’m Still Here made the allegations. One claimed the leading man climbed into her bed without her consent while she was asleep. The other woman alleged he “violently” tried to intimidate her into staying in his hotel room. There were additional allegations of “other types of misconduct” against Affleck. Both women sued the star for millions but settled the claims out of court. Affleck has continued to work in several films and will be directing a feature later this year.
When a celebrity is socially ‘convicted’ of being a ‘bad actor’ (pun intended), social media allows others to raise their so-called ‘virtue stock’ by piling scorn on the accused. Woke warriors can also improve their standing by praising the bravery of the accuser. Nothing needs to be investigated before the Social Media Cavalry comes charging in, purity tests verified, and virtues signaling.
Rosie O’Donnell was quick to jump on the Kevin Spacey sexual assault allegation bandwagon. O’Donnell took to Twitter in the aftermath of the Anthony Rapp’s sexual assault allegations against Kevin Spacey.
u don’t remember the incident – 30 years ago? – fuck u kevin – like Harvey we all knew about u – I hope more men come forward @KevinSpacey— ROSIE (@Rosie) October 30, 2017
What I found most disturbing in O’Donnell’s tweet is her implication that she had first-hand knowledge of criminal sexual acts against children but did nothing to intervene.
Admittedly, I am not a fan of the popular former talk show host and LGBTQ icon. But I cannot believe that an adoption advocate and someone unafraid of controversy would decide the appropriate response to learning of child endangerment is to remain silent for years, only to reply with a tweet once everything comes out. It doesn’t make sense.
However, what makes sense is that she, like almost everyone else in Hollywood, heard a story from a friend who knew someone who claims they saw the whole darn thing.
(Rosie O’Donnell did not respond to my request for an interview on the issue.)
Sexual Misconduct Allegations And Social Justice
It seems the punishments meted out by the Hollywood woke courts are sporadic at best and wildly unbalanced at worst. Several established big names like Sylvester Stallone, Ben Affleck, Nick Carter, and millennial celebrities like Ansel Elgort and Justin Beiber have all been accused of varying forms of sexual misconduct.
The validity of these accusations is not the issue. The #MeToo movement insists that all those who come forward should be believed. The only criteria: level accusations of assault against the rich and powerful men that comprise ‘the patriarchy.’
Like a majority of Kevin Spacey’s accusers, many of the claims referenced above are decades old or were made anonymously. So how come they get a pass and Kevin Spacey doesn’t? What makes him so special? The #MeToo movement has yet to define the precise metric it uses to cast a verdict of ‘evil’ on one celebrity and ‘redeemable’ another.
A Bad Rapp?
In Anthony Rapp’s 2006 memoir, Without You: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical Rent, he recounts his unprovoked and vicious attack, when Rapp was 26, on then-boyfriend Todd. This is alarming commentary from the towheaded totem of the #MeToo movement.
Rapp has issued repeated calls to end violence of any kind, and voiced his commitment to “exposing all forms of abuse and mistreatment.” He has joined with A Call To Men (an organization focused on “healthy respectful manhood” and has appeared in events such as Voices Against Violence, all while presumably forgetting he wrote a book that featured his own violent domestic assault in vivid detail. The book, available in most libraries, Kindle, Apple Books, etc., isn’t difficult to find. (Rapp even turned the memoir into an international touring one-person musical show.)
Anthony Rapp Details Violently Attacking Boyfriend In 2006 Memoir
If you haven’t read the memoir, Rapp describes breaking up with his boyfriend, Todd. Rapp says he “completely lost control” when Todd accepts the breakup–albeit with a torrent of expletives–turns and begins to walk away.
Rapp then details how he “leaped up and charged forward, ….pummeled Todd, …punched him in the back of the head, knocking him down.” Rapp’s recollection of Todd turning to him, with “terror in his eyes,” is haunting as he unleashes another barrage of punches to his victim’s “head and his arms.”
Punches to the back of the head are considered especially dangerous. They are banned in most sports because of the potential for damage to the cervical vertebrae and spinal cord. Punches to the back of the head can result in significant, irreparable spinal cord injury. (Mike Tyson was actually disqualified from a fight with Evander Holyfield because he hit Holyfield in the back of the head.)
RENT Broadway Castmates Struggled To Pull Anthony Rapp Off Boyfriend During Attack
It’s at this point in Rapp’s memoir that we learn Norbert Leo Butz (Adam Pascal’s understudy, who would replace Pascal as Roger in 1997) and cast mate Jesse L. Martin manage to pull the 5’7″ actor briefly off the battered young man, who is now “huddled on the concrete, his hands covering his head,” a position of self-protection. But Rapp’s rage is not yet extinguished.
Rapp describes the second phase of the attack with chilling clarity.
I pressed into the ground with the full strength of my legs. I reached out and crawled with my hands and knees across the concrete, dragging these two men with me until I ripped free of them and charged back at Todd, assailing him with fresh blows to his back and his shoulders.”Anthony Rapp, Without You: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical Rent
How much blind rage do you need to have to drag two not-insignificantly-sized men, several feet, crawling to reach someone to attack them a second time?
Rapp Tells Assault Victim Who Tried To Walk Away: “I Just Couldn’t See You Go Like That”
In the subsequent passages, Rapp skims over the impact of his actions on his victim. Instead, he dedicates several pages explaining his feelings of shame, remorse, and vulnerability. Rapp prioritizes his suffering before attending his bruised, battered, and traumatized boyfriend. “I just couldn’t see you go like that,” Rapp explains. “I couldn’t control myself, I’m sorry, but I couldn’t see you go.”
Following an unprovoked, violent attack Rapp seemingly justifies his actions by placing accountability at his victim’s feet.
What’s disturbing here, beyond the apparent savageness of the attack, is the hypocrisy. As a self-described “loud, proud, proselytizing member” of the “Church of Wokeness,” Rapp’s personal history is incongruous to woke culture’s cancelation of notable figures for decades-old actions, inappropriate social media posts, drunken behavior, etc. To date, Anthony Rapp seems to have escaped being held to the same scrutiny that has felled much bigger stars.
Anthony Rapp’s Sexual Assault Allegation Against Kevin Spacey: Prove It Didn’t Happen
1986 was a provocative year for theatre.
In New York, both Kevin Spacey and Anthony Rapp appeared on Broadway that spring; Spacey in Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night and Rapp in George Furth’s Precious Sons–which challenged Broadway audiences with a father who “drunkenly mistakes his son for someone else, climbs on top of him, and makes a sexual advance.”
For young Anthony Rapp, who portrayed the son, Furth’s play had a seemingly profound effect. “On some level, my system was kind of weirdly accustomed to the action [of having a man crawl on top of me] because it had been happening in the play,” the former child actor recalled in his 2017 BuzzFeed accusation interview.
The BuzzFeed Interview: Actor Anthony Rapp Alleges Kevin Spacey Made A Sexual Advance Toward Him When He Was 14
Rapp’s sexual assault allegations assert that the The Usual Suspects star invited the teen to his place to attend a party. At the end of the night, Rapp says Spacey scooped him up, “like a groom picks up the bride over the threshold,” plops him on his bed, then “lays down” on top of him in an attempt to “get with [him] sexually.”
Rapp says he was able to “squirm” away from the 26 year-old-Spacey and leave the residence unobstructed.
The human mind is an extraordinary thing. We are still discovering and attempting to unravel its comprehensive functionality. I chatted with Dr. Howard Eisenberg (psychologist, life coach and Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Vermont) in a brief Q&A about the potential for imagined/acted experiences to seep into our awareness, making it difficult to know what actually happened versus what we imagined/acted out.
Our Brains Can’t Distinguish Between Things We Experience and What We Imagine
Dr. Eisenberg clarified that our brains do “not distinguish well between what we imagine vividly and actual experiences in the external world,” adding that both stimulate “many of the same brain centers and can also change the underlying neuronal circuitry (“neuroplasticity”).”
Perhaps within this framework lies the pathway to understanding why so many child stars experience difficulty coping with the struggles of adulthood.
Countless child actors, like Anthony Rapp, have publicly (and privately) battled on multiple fronts including
- identity issues,
- underage drug and alcohol consumption,
- underage sexual promiscuity,
- age-inappropriate sexual experiences,
- blending of fact and fallacy, and
- anger issues.
Investigating Anthony Rapp’s Sexual Assault Allegations Against Kevin Spacey
By no means does this disprove Rapp’s accusation. It does, however, reveal the need for a deeper level of inquiry about what might, or might not, have happened on the night in question 35 years ago. But, there is no inquiry.
Failing To Ask The Uncomfortable Questions
I scoured media publications–mainstream, fringe, international and independent reporters–hoping to find anyone who has questioned the circumstances and integrity of the accusations aimed at Spacey. I came up empty.
There doesn’t seem to have been a single, serious investigation into Rapp’s claims or the circumstances of that evening.
No one with any publishing power (left or right) seems to be curious about looking deeper into the Kevin Spacey sexual assault allegations outside of the current publication, or interested in the idea of doing so.
Although speaking strictly from personal experience, I found countless publications interested in so-called Kevin Spacey ‘hit pieces,’ with several publications asking me to”‘reframe” this article to be “less favorable” toward the embattled actor.
“At least when I had fooled around with my friends Christopher and Stephen, masturbating together and occasionally going down on each other, we had talked before and after, and sometimes during.”-Anthony Rapp, describing some of his sexual activities at age 14
Challenging The Anthony Rapp Narrative
Apart from Rapp’s disturbing assault, the other thing I noticed is that no one seems to care that 14-year-old Anthony Rapp was already engaging in age-inappropriate sex.
In his memoir, Rapp details having sex (before his alleged interaction with Spacey) with an “older-looking than his 18 years” neighborhood friend. “It was just sex, after all, it didn’t mean anything anyway, and he obviously wanted to do it, so if he wanted to, that was all right.” Rapp’s graphic description of his encounter with the 18-year-old neighbor isn’t a solitary event. Rapp goes on to describe what could easily be interpreted as group sexual activities at home in Joliet, Illinois. “At least when I had fooled around with my friends Christopher and Stephen, masturbating together and occasionally going down on each other, we had talked before and after, and sometimes during,” says Rapp in his memoir.
These activities in no way negate his allegations against Spacey, but they do change the narrative about a powerful, predatory aggressor victimizing a virginal, innocent, unknowing, prepubescent child.
[UPDATE: Oct. 14, 2021 Anthony Rapp Court Case
As part of Anthony Rapp’s ongoing court case against Kevin Spacey, Rapp was the focus of a forensic psychiatric evaluation. Dr. Alexander Bardey’s evaluation asserts that Rapp “created a false memory of the alleged incident” in addition to showing clinical “narcissistic personality [disorder] traits.”
“Mr. Rapp displays narcissistic personality traits, in that he has an excessive need for admiration, has a grandiose sense of self-importance, and believes that he is special (i.e. saved his family’s life on several occasions).”
Rapp Offers A Very Different Description of Kevin Spacey Sexual Assault Allegation In New Court Documents
Rapp has repeatedly amended his story of what allegedly occurred in 1986. In court documents recently filed with the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, he provides his most dramatically different telling yet, describing how an intoxicated Kevin Spacey falls onto Rapp as “dead weight.”
[Kevin Spacey] “approached me, and he picked me up, he put his arm beneath me, because I was sitting on the edge of the bed. So he put his hand under my butt and down my legs to my knees, like scooped me like that and held me like a bride in that famous image…he laid me down on the bed on my back, and he laid on top of me…it felt like drunk and clumsy… his full weight was on my body…His hands were like behind my back clutching my shoulders…pressing his weight into me. I don’t recall him saying anything…was able to make the decision to squirm away…he wasn’t grinding into me, he wasn’t caressing me, it was just sort of dead weight and holding me.” - Anthony Rapp
This is significant as Rapp has asserted all along that Kevin Spacey’s alleged actions on the night in question were with the specific intent to “get with” him “sexually.” Rapp’s specifically notes in this version of alleged events, Kevin Spacey’s lack of sexual interest in the young Rapp.
It is unclear whether this new description of alleged events is Rapp’s attempt to walk back his sexual assault allegation against Kevin Spacey.]
As part of our coverage of this continuing story, The Independent Observer will be providing ongoing coverage of Rapp’s lawsuit against actor Kevin Spacey.
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Sexual Assault Allegations: The Aftermath
Within 120 hours, Spacey’s career, a professional career of more than thirty years in the making, boasting countless awards and honors both domestic and international, is incinerated.
This didn’t follow an investigation. These actions were set in motion based on a one-sided allegation from an individual not without abuse questions surrounding his own past; allegations of events that happened more than 35 years ago; allegations the accused has continually denied.
And that’s why this should terrify us all.
Anyone who has committed crimes against a child 10, 20, 30, 40… years ago needs to be held accountable. No one disagrees with that. But what about those people who may act in a way we do not like? What about those individuals we may foster jealousy toward? Those we may feel rebuked by in some manner? Those who are innocent of committing crimes?
What I Learned During My Year-Long Investigation Into The Kevin Spacey Sexual Assault and Misconduct Allegations
In the almost twelve months I’ve spent digging into this story, I’ve learned two things:
- One: The line has moved. Historical interactions initially brushed off now fail to meet the mark when viewed through society’s current priggish lens. And that’s fine. That’s how societies grow. Drawing a line in the sand and saying we won’t accept specific behavior from now on is evolution. But turning that perspective backward isn’t progressive.
- Two: Kevin Spacey demonstrates a sexual assertiveness that other sexual dominates would likely not appreciate. And whether you like or loathe his personal dating style, not everyone objects. An actress with knowledge of the situation suggested Kevin Spacey’s “trouble seems to be more whom he considers worth pursuing–not the pursuit itself.” She added, “for the right person, that behavior can be quite a turn on.”
Allegations are just that, alleged. Proving their truth takes time. Should we believe allegations just because it’s in print somewhere? What about multiple allegations? What about allegations claimed by anonymous sources?
The Church of Wokeness would have you believe that once alleged, forever guilty; that we must accept all allegations without question or inquiry and cancel that person immediately. And that is a dangerous slope for us all.
The line between acceptable and unacceptable, between appropriate and inappropriate, will move; it always has. What we thought was okay to do 35 years ago is not okay today. And what we consider acceptable today will assuredly be shunned by the grandchildren of The Wokest Generation.
Life After Cancelation: Where Is Kevin Spacey Now
As one by one the Kevin Spacey sexual assault allegations fall off and begin to collect dust, like forgotten awards, the one time Hollywood favorite is left in an uncharted no man’s land–not proven guilty, yet unable to prove his innocence. How do you irrefutably prove something didn’t happen when the only two people (supposedly) present recall different events? Kevin Spacey is the new breed of the alleged–canceled by allegation.
Yet, in the background, quietly but determinedly, Kevin Spacey goes on being Kevin Spacey.
In Director Franco Nero’s film, L’uomo Che Disegno Dio (The Man Who Drew God), the actor is cast as a detective investigating a child sexual abuse allegation case. The casting choice is drawing harsh criticism from the press. After living and breathing this story for almost a year, I, for one, appreciate the irony.
Woke warrior justice and cancel culture cannot sustain for the long haul because at its core is imbalance. Tip the scales too far to either end, and any system will collapse in on itself. There must be balance and, at least, the aspiration for equal distribution if there is to be a lasting impact.
Allegations must be given the attention they deserve, but we can’t do this in a day. And public opinion, mob justice, should never sway a determination of guilt or innocence. Vigilantism can have dangerous consequences. Woke warriors, quick to fire off 280 characters of condemnation, casting ballots from their seat in the Trial by Tweet jury box (of which I am sure my guilty verdict will be swift, following the publication of this dissent), cannot avoid unnecessary casualties. Similar names, misquotes, deep fakes, bad edits, the potential for friendly fire casualties is unlimited.
Perhaps, Kevin Spacey has it all figured out. Maybe a simple, single choice to live your life despite your detractors is the ultimate, final victorious salvo in the Battle of the Alleged.
(Anthony Rapp did not respond to repeated requests for an interview.)
[UPDATE: Oct. 14, 2021:
In August, he joined Michael Zaiko Hall’s independent film Peter Five Eight–his first American movie role since sexual assault allegations broke in 2017.]
[UPDATE: February 11, 2022: Kevin Spacey News Updates]
Since the original publication of this piece last summer, readers have reached out, and continue to contact us hoping to get answers to several key questions. We’ve updated this article to include them here:
Was Kevin Spacey Innocent?
- In the (now) almost 18 months of research and interviews, across multiple countries and continents, I found no evidence to support any allegations of criminal activity, sexual assault, sexual misconduct, or sexual harassment.
Who is Kevin Spacey’s lawyer?
- For Rapp’s lawsuit against actor Kevin Spacey, Spacey has a comprehensive legal team. Spacey’s attorney Jennifer Keller was the attorney of record challenging accuser C.D.’s request to remain anonymous
Who is Anthony Rapp’s Lawyer?
- Attorney Peter Saghir represents actor Anthony Rapp. Mr. Saghir initially represented C.D., and subsequently became Rapp’s attorney when Rapp joined the lawsuit. When C.D. abandoned his claims against Spacey, that left Rapp holding the proverbial purse strings as the sole plaintiff of the lawsuit, currently ramping up before Justice Lewis A. Kaplan.
What is Anthony Rapp’s position on the court case?
- In the original civil court filing, Mr. Rapp filed charges against actor Kevin Spacey for assault, battery, and emotional distress. In subsequent sworn statements, Rapp has downplayed his original assertion. See “Rapp Offers A Very Different Description of Kevin Spacey Alleged Sexual Assault In New Court Documents” above.
Why Did Kevin Spacey Come Out?
- When or why anyone “comes out” is deeply personal. I have no knowledge of Mr. Spacey’s personal reasons why he chose that time to make his life choices public.
I can, however, make the following assumption based on my knowledge and understanding of the situation: faced with an unsubstantiated allegation that would forcibly “out” him to his audience (Mr. Rapp has often voiced his anger at actors who were not “out.”) actor Kevin Spacey had little option but to make his “coming out” statement at that time.
What is Anthony Rapp’s profession? Where is Anthony Rapp now?
- Actor Anthony Rapp continues to act in Star Trek: Discovery. Late last year he ran an unsuccessful SAG-AFTRA campaign to become union treasurer. The Adventures in Babysitting actor also offers personalized video greetings for $95 on Cameo.
A Note About Updates
This article was originally published June 10, 2021. It was updated to include new relevant information in October 2021 and SEO norms. Updated are noted in enclosed in square brackets, preceded by the date of update as follows: [UPDATE: Oct. 14, 2021:]
As part of The Independent Observer’s commitment to this story, we will be providing ongoing coverage of Rapp’s lawsuit against Kevin Spacey, sexual assault allegations, production company arbitration, and where is Kevin Spacey now.