Photo: Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage
Kevin Spacey heads to a New York court this month, where he faces a civil trial related to sexual-assault allegations levied against him by the actor Anthony Rapp. In 2017, Rapp alleged that Spacey — who was starring in Netflix’s House of Cards at the time — sexually assaulted him when he was 14. Since then, over 30 men have come forward with accusations ranging from nonconsensual groping to the attempted rape of minors.
Spacey, 62, initially responded to Rapp’s allegations with a muddled apology note in which he came out as gay (a deflection many criticized as conflating homosexuality and pedophilia) and claimed not to remember the incident, writing on Twitter, “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.” Following the initial wave of allegations, Spacey was dropped by his talent agency and publicist, fired from House of Cards, and scrubbed from film projects. He retreated from public life, with a representative telling Variety he was seeking “evaluation and treatment,” though he has occasionally resurfaced over the years to launch film comebacks and post bizarre defenses on YouTube and Twitter.
The New York trial isn’t Spacey’s only legal battle: Over the summer, the actor appeared twice in court in London, where he pleaded not guilty to the multiple sexual-assault charges he’s facing there. The alleged offenses, which include four charges of sexual assault against three men and one charge of causing a person to nonconsensually engage in penetrative sexual activity, reportedly occurred between 2005 and 2013 in London and Gloucestershire during Spacey’s tenure as artistic director of London’s Old Vic Theatre. Spacey, who was granted unconditional bail in June and whose lawyer previously said he “strenuously denies” all criminal allegations, told Good Morning America ahead of his initial court appearance, “I am confident I will prove my innocence.”
Meanwhile, the allegations and lawsuits continue to pile up. His New York trial will focus on Rapp’s claims of battery and the intentional infliction of emotional distress, for which Rapp is seeking $40 million in punitive and compensatory damages; a judge dismissed his sexual-assault claim because he brought it too late. Here’s what we know.
In October 2017, Rapp told BuzzFeed Spacey made “a sexual advance” after a party at Spacey’s house in 1986. “I was aware that he was trying to get with me sexually,” said Rapp, who alleged that after other guests left, Spacey picked him up and put him on his bed before lying on top of him. In 2020, Rapp and an anonymous accuser filed a civil sexual-assault lawsuit against Spacey under the New York Child Victims Act, seeking damages for severe emotional distress. Per Reuters, Spacey “categorically” denied Rapp’s allegations in court papers and sought to dismiss the civil lawsuit, a bid the judge rejected, though the second accuser’s legal claims were dismissed because he refused to use his name during the proceedings. Spacey continues to deny the accusations.
Following Rapp’s accusations, a wave of accusers came forward.
An anonymous artist told Vulture that Spacey pursued a sexual relationship with him in 1983, when he was 14 and Spacey was 24. The artist, who said he met Spacey when he was a 12-year-old acting student and Spacey was a guest teacher, alleged he and Spacey had sex a handful of times in New York, and that Spacey often promised him professional opportunities, none of which came to fruition: “He was telling me that there were producers who were really interested in me as an actor and that he wanted to get me auditions,” he said. “He hadn’t seen me act since I was 12.” The artist said the relationship ended with an “attempted rape.” Spacey’s lawyer has said he “absolutely denies” all of these claims. In 2021, the accuser was dropped from the civil lawsuit he filed with Rapp after refusing to reveal his name in court proceedings.
An anonymous accuser told the BBC that in 1985, when he was 17 and Spacey was in his mid-20s, he woke up to Spacey lying on top of him. The accuser said he met Spacey at a summer theater the previous year and that the two exchanged letters before Spacey invited him to spend the weekend in New York City, where Spacey allegedly put a hand on the accuser’s thigh and became touchy “in a way I certainly wasn’t interested in.” One night, the accuser said Spacey asked him to share the bed, which the accuser declined, sleeping on the sofa instead. When he woke up, he said Spacey was on top of him “in his underwear.” “It seems he was grooming me,” the accuser said, adding that Spacey eventually “backed off.”
London performing-arts teacher Kate Edwards told the BBC Spacey pressured her into having sex in 1986, when she was a 17-year-old assistant on a production of Long Day’s Journey Into Night that starred Spacey. Edwards said Spacey invited her to a birthday party in his flat; when she arrived, the flat was empty, and the pair consensually kissed before Spacey allegedly escalated the situation. “I said, ‘I want to go home and change.’ I felt pressured, and it became clear his intention was to have sex with me,” said Edwards. “He became cold and said, ‘Find your own way.’”
Justin Dawes told BuzzFeed Spacey made sexual advances in 1988, when Dawes was 16 and Spacey was 29. Spacey allegedly invited Dawes — then a high-school junior interested in acting — and a male friend to his apartment in New Haven, Connecticut, under the guise of watching Chinatown, but instead gave the boys cocktails and played gay pornography. “He knew that I was in high school. It was pretty clear,” said Dawes, who said he left with his friend and qualified that the situation felt “sleazy and manipulative” but not “intimidating or pushy.” After Dawes testified in a deposition for Rapp’s lawsuit, Spacey filed a motion demanding that Dawes reveal the name of his friend, which a federal court judge granted earlier this year.
In 2018, the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department announced that it was investigating the allegations of an anonymous accuser who claimed Spacey sexually assaulted him in West Hollywood in 1992. Prosecutors ultimately decided not to file criminal charges in connection with the case, which they said fell outside the statute of limitations.
Per the BBC, an anonymous American filmmaker alleged Spacey sexually harassed him on the set of Albino Alligator in 1995, when he was a 22-year-old junior crew member. The filmmaker alleged that Spacey — the director of the film — sat beside him on one of the last days of filming and “put his hand on my thigh and moved it towards my inner thigh.” He added, “I was getting the attention of the most powerful person on the movie set, and I wanted to work in Hollywood. But it was an interest that made me feel totally uneasy, uncomfortable, confused … I felt harassed, sexually harassed.”
Mark Ebenhoch, a military adviser on Spacey’s 1995 film Outbreak, claimed Spacey referred to the young male assistants on set as his “harem,” and that one of Spacey’s assistants once asked him to come to his trailer and “flat out engage in a sexual act” with Spacey. Ebenhoch said he declined, telling BuzzFeed the incident “blew me away.”
An anonymous journalist who interviewed Spacey for a London magazine in the early 2000s told BuzzFeed Spacey groped him at the club they went to after the interview. “He just kept reaching between my legs and, you know, just grabbing my dick,” the journalist said, adding that when he tried to leave, he said Spacey started “screaming at me with fury because I didn’t want to fuck him.” “He was actually saying that I did want to and I was a coward. That was a tactic. It was unbelievable.”
Filmmaker Tony Montana told Radar Online Spacey groped him at a Los Angeles bar in 2003. “I went up to order a drink and Kevin came up to me and put his arm around me,” Montana said. “He was telling me to come with him, to leave the bar. He put his hand on my crotch forcefully and grabbed my whole package,” said Montana, who claimed an intoxicated Spacey told him: “This designates ownership.”
In a video interview with BBC, Kris Nixon, who met Spacey while bartending near the Old Vic Theater, told the BBC that Spacey groped him during an after-party at his penthouse in 2007. “I was sitting on a sofa with my then-sort-of-girlfriend,” Nixon recalled. “She got up to get a drink, and Kevin Spacey sat down on the sofa next to me. He asked if that was my girlfriend, then reached over, grabbed my penis, and said, ‘I could fuck you better than her.’” Two weeks later, Spacey allegedly propositioned Nixon again, grabbing his waistband at the bar and offering to “make it up to him.”
In an interview with Norwegian radio network P4, writer Ari Behn said Spacey groped him at an after-party in 2007 following the 14th Annual Nobel Peace Prize Concert, which Spacey hosted with Uma Thurman. Behn, who was then married to Princess Martha Louise, said Spacey, who was seated next to him, asked him to go out for a cigarette before reaching under the table and grabbing him “by the balls.” Behn said he declined, telling Spacey, “Eh, maybe later.” Behn died of suicide in 2019, at the age of 47.
In an article for BuzzFeed, Harry Dreyfuss, son of actor Richard Dreyfuss, called Spacey a “sexual predator” and claimed Spacey groped him in 2008, when he was 18. Per Harry, the alleged incident took place during a rehearsal at Spacey’s apartment, with Spacey surreptitiously touching his thigh and crotch without his consent while Harry’s father was in the room. “What disgusts me about Kevin was how safe he did feel,” Harry wrote. “He knew he could fondle me in a room with my father and that I wouldn’t say a word. He knew I wouldn’t have had the guts. And I didn’t.”
Per Variety, in 2017, Scotland Yard launched an investigation into allegations by an anonymous man who alleged Spacey sexually assaulted him in 2008, when he was 23. According to the man’s account — first reported by the Sun — he asked Spacey, then the artistic director of the Old Vic Theater, for help with his career, and Spacey invited him to his home in South London. The man said the two smoked marijuana and passed out, and that he woke up to Spacey performing oral sex on him. He said he told Spacey to stop; Spacey allegedly told him not to tell anyone what happened. In May 2019, the Met’s Complex Case team interviewed Spacey in the U.S. in connection with this allegation and other claims of sexual assault lodged with the Scotland Yard, though Spacey was not arrested at the time.
Daniel Beal, a British bartender, told the Sun that in 2010, Spacey followed him outside on his cigarette break, flashed his genitals, and told the then-19-year-old, “It’s big, isn’t it?” Once they were backin the bar, Beal said Spacey gave him the Swiss watch he was wearing. “Looking back, I realize it was to keep me quiet,” said Beal.
In a Facebook post in 2017, Mexican actor Robert Cavazos said Spacey groped him at the bar of the Old Vic Theater, though he did not specify when the alleged incident occurred. “There are many of us who have a ‘Kevin Spacey story,’” Cavazos wrote. “It seems like you only needed to be a man under 30 for him to feel free to touch us.” By November 2017, at least 20 men associated with the Old Vic alleged inappropriate sexual behavior by Spacey, both during his time as the theater’s artistic director and before. The theater publicly apologized, calling the allegations “a shock and disturbing surprise,” and had a law firm investigate the allegations, none of which reportedly involved minors, and concluded that Spacey’s “stardom and status … may have prevented people, and in particular junior staff or young actors, from feeling that they could speak up or raise a hand for help.” The report also said that Spacey hadn’t participated in the investigation and that independent allegations could not be verified.
During a press conference in Boston in 2017, former Boston news anchor Heather Unruh claimed her son was sexually assaulted by Spacey at a Nantucket bar in 2016, when he would have been 18. According to Unruh’s account, Spacey bought her son “drink after drink after drink” at the restaurant before allegedly reaching inside his pants and grabbing his genitals. In 2018, the Boston Globe reported that Spacey faced one charge of indecent assault and battery in relation to the incident, the first criminal charge he faced since the allegations began. Spacey pleaded not guilty, with his lawyer calling the interaction “consensual flirtation” and alleging that the accuser “concocted and exaggerated elements of a story to impress his friends.”
Following the Globe’s report, Spacey posted a video to his Twitter account, “Let Me Be Frank,” in which he assumed the voice of his House of Cards character Frank Underwood and appeared to address the allegations, telling viewers, “If I didn’t pay the price for the things we both know I did, I’m certainly not going to pay the price for the things I didn’t do.” In 2019, Unruh’s son dropped his civil lawsuit against Spacey six days after filing it. Later that month, prosecutors in Massachusetts dropped the sexual-assault charge against Spacey after Unruh’s son refused to testify about a missing smartphone the defense had sought as evidence.
In September 2018, an anonymous massage therapist who said Spacey offered him oral sex and forced him to grope his genitals twice during a 2016 session at the actor’s home in Malibu sued Spacey for battery, assault, false imprisonment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Spacey asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit because of the plaintiff’s concealed identity, but a federal judge moved it forward, with all parties agreeing that the case would proceed to trial. In September 2019, the accuser died, and his estate later dismissed the suit.
In 2017, eight House of Cards staffers told CNN that Spacey had behaved inappropriately with them, with one production assistant alleging that Spacey put his hands down the assistant’s pants while driving. “He was a man in a very powerful position on the show and I was someone very low on the totem pole and on the food chain there,” the anonymous assistant said. “It was a toxic environment for young men who had to interact with him at all in the crew, cast, background actors.” In 2020, a private arbitrator ruled that Spacey must pay $31 million to MRC, the studio behind the show, for breach of contract in relation to the allegations. MRC claimed that measures taken after Spacey’s firing — including writing off his character, stopping production of the show’s sixth season, and shortening it to meet deadlines — spurred exorbitant losses, and it petitioned a California court to confirm the arbitrator’s ruling in 2020. Although Spacey’s attorneys have tried to throw out the case, arguing that his behavior with crew members did not go beyond “sexual innuendos” and “innocent horseplay,” a judge ruled in MRC’s favor on Thursday, saying that Spacey’s attorneys had failed “to demonstrate that this is even a close case.” NBC reports that Spacey has denied the allegations through his attorneys and a spokesperson.
The Cut has reached out to Spacey’s legal representation for comment and will update when we hear back.
https://www.thecut.com/article/all-of-the-allegations-against-actor-kevin-spacey.html All of the Allegations Against Actor Kevin Spacey