Kevin Spacey Has Been Dogged by Sexual Misconduct Allegations for Years

Kevin Spacey
Kevin Spacey onstage at Cars, Arts & Beats: A Night Out With 'Baby Driver' at Los Angeles' Petersen Automotive Museum on October 4. Rochelle Brodin/Getty

Kevin Spacey is the latest high-profile name to be accused of sexual harassment, after Star Trek: Discovery actor Anthony Rapp alleged the Oscar-winning star made a sexual advance toward him when he was just 14. However, this is not the first time the actor has been subject to similar allegations.

Rapp, 46, is the first person to come forward on record with his claim against Spacey, and several older claims of misconduct or lascivious behavior by the actor resurfaced Monday.

In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal that engulfed Hollywood earlier in October, journalist and former Boston WCVB-TV news anchor Heather Unruh alleged October 13 that Spacey had "assaulted a loved one." Unruh did not respond to Newsweek's request for further information at the time, nor did Spacey's publicist respond to a request for comment.

In subsequent tweets, Unruh said the alleged victim was "considering all options before going public."

In 2015, the now defunct Gawker Media website Defamer ran a series of articles speculating on Spacey's sexuality (1, 2). The website solicited anonymous tips from readers about encounters with the actor.

Most of those anonymous allegations were of a prurient nature, "outing" Spacey, but some of the people who wrote to Defamer alleged unsolicited sexual attention on his part.

In an interview Monday, Rapp told BuzzFeed that his encounter with Spacey took place in 1986, when Spacey, then 26, invited Rapp, a Broadway child star, to a party at his apartment in Manhattan.

"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 said.

Spacey, 58, said in a Twitter statement he did not remember the incident but apologized for "what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior."

The actor received backlash from social media users for using the same statement to publicly acknowledge for the first time that he has chosen "to live as a gay man." This, critics say, appears to conflate homosexuality with sexual misconduct.

Rapp, who appeared in the Broadway musical Rent, told BuzzFeed he felt compelled to come forward following the Weinstein saga.

Earlier in October, dozens of women, most of them actors, alleged sexual misconduct by the Hollywood movie producer. Multiple women have accused Weinstein of rape.

Since Weinstein was disgraced, a number of other men also have faced accusations of misconduct, including film director James Toback and NBC News anchor Mark Halperin.

On Monday, after Rapp's allegations were published by BuzzFeed, Twitter users also pointed to an old 2005 episode of animated comedy Family Guy featuring a curious joke about Spacey.

In the gag, one of the show's protagonists, Stewie Griffin, runs naked through a mall, claiming he's just "escaped from Kevin Spacey's basement."

Family Guy, of course, is created by comedian Seth MacFarlane, who joked about Harvey Weinstein's reputation with young women when he hosted the Oscars in 2013—four years before the public expose of his alleged behavior.

After MacFarlane's Oscars quip went viral, he acknowledged that he was aware of Weinstein's reputation and wanted to take a "hard swing" at the producer.

MacFarlane could not immediately be reached for comment about the Spacey gag.

Kevin Spacey Has Been Dogged by Sexual Misconduct Allegations for Years | Culture