Kevin Spacey has apologized to Anthony Rapp after Rapp alleged Spacey made an unwanted sexual advance toward the Star Trek: Discovery actor when he was 14 years old. Spacey, at the time, was 26.
“I have a lot of respect and admiration for Anthony Rapp as an actor. I’m beyond horrified to hear his story,” Spacey wrote in a statement posted to Twitter. “I honestly do not remember the encounter, it would have been over 30 years ago. But if I did behave 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.”
In addition, Spacey said Rapp’s story “encouraged me to address other things about my life,” including his sexuality. “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,” Spacey said. “As those closes to me know, in my life, I have had relationships with both men and women. I have loved and had romantic relationships 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 was slammed in the hours after his statement, with many — including GLAAD — criticizing his remarks for conflating sexual misconduct with a coming-out story. “Coming out stories should not be used to deflect from allegations of sexual assault,” Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD, said on Monday. “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.”
In an interview with BuzzFeed published late Sunday, Rapp, now 46, alleged Spacey invited the then-teenager to his Manhattan apartment for a party in 1986, where Rapp said he spent most of the evening in a bedroom watching television. As the night wound down, Rapp said he found himself alone in the dwelling with Spacey.
“My memory was that I thought, Oh, everybody’s gone. Well, yeah, I should probably go home,” Rapp said. According to Rapp, Spacey appeared in the bedrrom doorway and allegedly picked the young actor “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 said.
At the time, Rapp was starring in the play Precious Sons opposite Ed Harris while Spacey was doing Long Day’s Journey Into Night with Jack Lemmon. “He was trying to seduce me,” Rapp alleged. “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 said he left the apartment after the alleged incident, but claimed to “have a memory of turning around and [thinking], What was that? What am I supposed to do with it? What does it mean? The older I get, and the more I know, I feel very fortunate that something worse didn’t happen. And at the same time, the older I get, the more I can’t believe it. I could never imagine [that] anyone else I know would do something like that to a 14-year-old boy.”
Rapp told BuzzFeed that he never approached Spacey about what happened. (He began telling friends about it around 1990, which BuzzFeed confirmed.) Rapp eventually talked to a lawyer, who advised him against pursuing a case.
Rapp, who has appeared in movies like School Ties and Twister and on Broadway in Rent, said he’s bringing the issue up now because of the mounting sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein. He currently plays Paul Stamets on Star Trek: Discovery.
“Part of what allowed the Harvey situation to occur was that there was this witting and unwitting conspiracy of silence,” Rapp said. “The only way these things can continue is if there’s no attention being paid to it, if it’s getting forgotten.”
In a statement released to EW after the BuzzFeed story published, Rapp said, “I came forward with my story, standing on the shoulders of the many courageous women and men who have been speaking out, to shine a light and hopefully make a difference, as they have done for me. Everything I wanted to say about my experience is in that article, and I have no further comment about it at this time.”
This post has been updated to include Kevin Spacey’s response