LOS ANGELES – Kevin Spacey is in Hollywood’s crosshairs after being accused of sexual harassment by actor Anthony Rapp, a controversy that caused the cancelation of the “House of Cards” television series and is putting the double Oscar winner’s career to teeter.
The unwanted sexual advance allegedly took place in 1986, when Rapp was 14, and his complaint spurred Spacey to say that he did not recall that episode but that if it really did take place he owed Rapp “the sincerest apology.”
“I honestly do not remember the encounter, it would have been over 30 years ago. 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,” said Spacey in a statement published on his Twitter account.
The incident, as related by Rapp to the BuzzFeed News Website, supposedly occurred at a party at Spacey’s New York apartment.
Rapp was the only teenager at the event, and when he became bored he went into one of the other rooms to watch television and was there after midnight when Spacey entered.
According to his account, Spacey approached him and then lay down upon him with the intention of having sexual relations.
Spacey, who won Oscars for his roles in “The Usual Suspects” and “American Beauty,” would have been 26 at the time.
Rapp told BuzzFeed that he did not “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.”
He added that his impression was that Spacey was drunk at the time.
Rapp’s film credits include “Adventures in Babysitting,” “School Ties,” “A Beautiful Mind” and the musical adaptation of “Rent.”
“House of Cards,” which won an Emmy for best drama series, was the first star product of Netflix. In it, Spacey plays US President Frank Underwood, an expert manipulator, while Robin Wright plays the first lady.
A few hours after learning of the accusation against Spacey, Netflix confirmed on Monday that the sixth season of the series, for which filming commenced in Maryland two weeks ago, will be its last.
Besides issuing an apology to Rapp, Spacey also revealed that he is gay, saying in his statement: “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. ... I have had relationships with both men and women ... and had romantic encounters with men throughout my life, and I choose now to live as a gay man.”
Some have criticized Spacey, however, for his decision to acknowledge his homosexuality simultaneously with confronting Rapp’s accusation, saying that admitting one’s sexual orientation should not be used to “divert attention” about claims of inappropriate sexual advances.