I sure hope we’re not building with these Spacey revelations to some gross, protracted media navel-gazing about the supposed moral distinctions between pedophilia and ephebophilia. A nice bright age-of-consent line at 18 is the least society can do to protect vulnerable teens who may think they’re ready for sex only to realize later that they weren’t.
Spacey’s spokesman announced this morning that he’s seeking “evaluation and treatment.” Now? Not in, say, 1986, when then-14-year-old Anthony Rapp claims Spacey ended up on top of him in bed? Or has he been undergoing “evaluation and treatment” for years?
This New York magazine interview with a now 48-year-old man is all kinds of uh-oh for Spacey. The man says he was 12 and Spacey was 22 when they first met at an acting workshop in 1981. Two years later they met again and things took a turn:
Yeah, and we’re talking. He was kind of in high seduction mode and gave me his phone number and asked me to call him. He said, “I want to see you, and I want you to come to my apartment.” He said he’d always been really drawn to me at the acting classes, but had stayed away because I was 12. So I’m like [laughs] … now that I was 14. That was probably a 15-minute walk, and then I went back to be with my parents…
I called him on the phone the next day, and he told me how he was in love with me and wanted to see me. I went and saw him at an apartment he was renting on the Upper West Side. He had a black Labrador named Snake. He might’ve been walking that dog in Central Park when we bumped into him that night. We started a sexual relationship that first visit, which mostly involved me f***ing him.
The man claims Spacey told him at the time that “there were producers who were really interested in me as an actor and that he wanted to get me auditions,” which is downright Weinstein-esque. (Nothing came of it.) He thought of their relationship as consensual at the time but now thinks of it differently. And there was one incident, he says — the last time they saw each other — which even his 14-year-old self didn’t consider consensual:
I guess he must have come up behind me and yanked down my baggy jeans, and he goes to f*** me and I’m like, “No, I don’t want to.” And he pushes hard, and grabs me, and starts shoving up against my a*****e, and it hurts like a motherf***er. I again tell him no, and he tries again. I am strong enough, thank God, both somewhere in my brain and in my body, to get him off of me. I’m sturdy, thankfully. I throw him off of me and I run crying down the stairs and out into the street and then suck it all up and go have dinner…
I always have said, “He tried to rape me.” I told him I didn’t want that, he went again to do it, I told him no, he went again and pushed harder and grabbed me and pushed harder. I don’t know how I would see that as anything besides an attempted rape, which I was able to thwart.
Spacey denies everything. The man claims it didn’t fully dawn on him just how inappropriate their relationship had been until he was in his mid-20s himself and tried looking at 14-year-olds as sex objects and couldn’t do it. Even the “mature” ones were too obviously childlike, which is when he began thinking of Spacey as a predator. As for why he’s speaking now, he claims it’s a combination of guilt over not speaking sooner, knowing that pedophiles reoffend, and wanting to punish Spacey for his deeply cynical declaration that he’s gay after the Rapp story broke in hopes of getting the media to circle the wagons around him. I thought that would backfire on Spacey by understandably infuriating gay-rights supporters who resent seeing gays conflated with pedophiles by anyone, let alone by someone who’s gay himself. It sure seems to have done so: Now he’s an Onion punchline. If there was a way to make this worse for himself, he found it. Is literally *anyone* defending Spacey this week? If so, I missed it.
It’s not just Rapp and New York’s mystery man who claim that he committed sex crimes against them, although I believe they’re the only ones so far to allege that they were minors. A filmmaker went on record recently claiming that Spacey grabbed him by the groin in 2003 while an actor who worked at London’s Old Vic theater under Spacey’s direction said he inappropriately touched male actors there. My guess is that adults who say they’ve been victimized by him will be given short shrift since, as men, they don’t suffer from the physical disadvantage that women do with their own assailants. If a man doesn’t want to be groped, many people would say it’s on him to do something physically to stop it, never mind that Spacey is a powerful A-list actor with various Hollywood connections who could make an actor’s professional life difficult if he sustained a beating at their hands. Remember, even a guy as physically imposing as Terry Crews says he found himself in almost this exact situation, getting his package manhandled by an unnamed film executive in full view of his wife, but didn’t knock the guy out (or name him) for fear of the career repercussions. Spacey’s adult victims are victims too.
Update: Oh boy. The floodgates are open.
Kevin Spacey made the set of Netflix’s “House of Cards” into a “toxic” work environment through a pattern of sexual harassment, eight people who currently work on the show or worked on it in the past tell CNN. One former employee told CNN that Spacey sexually assaulted him.
The former production assistant, whose account has never previously been disclosed, told CNN that Spacey sexually assaulted him during one of the show’s early seasons. All eight people, each of whom spoke to CNN on the condition of anonymity for fear of professional repercussions for speaking out, described Spacey’s behavior as “predatory,” saying it included nonconsensual touching and crude comments and targeted production staffers who were typically young and male.
The production assistant says Spacey put his hands down his pants while he was driving the actor to the set, then cornered him later and touched him inappropriately. More than one PA told CNN that Spacey would openly touch men inappropriately. One claims to have personally witnessed multiple instances where Spacey would approach a man, “say hello, greet them, shake their hand and pull their hand down to his crotch and touch their crotch. I have friends say he reached up their shorts on set.” Netflix knew nothing about this, huh?