“House of Cards” actor Kevin Spacey has earned the scorn of multiple LGBT rights groups for his decision to come out as gay on the heels of a sexual harassment incident that allegedly saw him make advances on a 14-year-old boy when he Spacey was 26 years old.
Actor Anthony Rapp revealed the allegations in an interview with Buzzfeed News, in which he described a 1986 encounter that saw Spacey invite the young teenager to his apartment, place him on his bed, and climb on top of him.
“My stomach churns,” Rapp said of the memory. “I still to this day can’t wrap my head around so many aspects of it. It’s just deeply confusing to me.”
Spacey, who is now 58, appeared to wave away the incident as a convenient prompt to come out of the closet. He took to Twitter to offer a semi-apology and claimed to not remember the incident Rapp is referring to.
“I’m beyond horrified to hear his story. 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,” Spacey wrote.
“This story has encouraged me to address other things about my life. 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. As those closest to me know, in my life I have had relationships with both men and women. I have loved and had romantic encounters with men throughout my life, and I choose now to live as a gay man.”
— Kevin Spacey (@KevinSpacey) October 30, 2017
The odd timing of Spacey’s coming-out story rankled pro-LGBT group GLAAD, which blasted the media for focusing on the wrong news item.
“Coming-out stories should not be used to deflect from allegations of sexual assault,” GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement. “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.”