'It gets better': Kevin Spacey posts new Christmas Eve video offering earnest advice for the suicidal

Maria Puente, USA TODAY
·4 min read

What would Christmas Eve be without a video from Kevin Spacey?

The Oscar-winning actor ruined by sexual assault allegations asks that question himself at the start of his third annual video, posted on his YouTube channel Thursday.

And unlike his previous videos, he cut out the offbeat stuff and offered somber support for people reeling from thoughts of suicide.

"That's right, what would Christmas Eve be without a message from me," Spacey asks sardonically as the video opens, showing him dressed casually, sitting on a bench in what looks like a green park.

Kevin Spacey arrives at courthouse on Nantucket Island, Mass., on Jan. 7, 2019, to be arraigned on a charge of indecent assault and battery.
Kevin Spacey arrives at courthouse on Nantucket Island, Mass., on Jan. 7, 2019, to be arraigned on a charge of indecent assault and battery.

Then he stands up and addresses the camera, saying that "a lot" of people reached out to him this past year and "shared their own struggles."

"And my ability to be there for them has really only been possible because of my own difficulties," Spacey said, alluding to the toxic allegations against him, one of which resulted in a criminal case in Nantucket, Massachusetts, that subsequently fell apart in court.

Spacey, 61, said he felt unable to offer much help to suicidal people because it is "beyond my abilities." The realization, he said, caused him to alter the tone of this year's video from the wacky and bizarre affect of previous years, to something more serious.

"Because, heartbreakingly, so many have talked about things having gotten so bad for them that they have contemplated taking their own lives," Spacey said. "And that's enough for me to want to take an entirely different approach this year, to acknowledge their pain and to say to anyone out there who's struggling or contemplating that idea, please, please do not take that step."

To those who are suffering, who feel guilt or shame, who are struggling with their identity or if their backs are up against a wall, he said there is still a way forward.

"If you feel there is no path for you, whatever the situation, I promise you there is a path," Spacey said. "At this time during this holiday and beyond,there are people out there who understand and who can help, because you are not alone.

"I want to say to those who might be suffering, it gets better, it does get better. Happy holidays, everyone."

Spacey has been largely unseen in public for three years, ever since more than a dozen men came forward as part of the #MeToo movement in the fall of 2017 to accuse him of sexually assaulting them in encounters, some when they were underage.

His first video came out in 2018 when he was facing felony charges of groping an 18-year-old restaurant worker back in the summer of 2016. (Prosecutors dropped the charges in July 2019 after the accuser pleaded the Fifth Amendment when questioned on the stand about the mysterious disappearance of his cellphone.)

In the first video, Spacey seemed to be channeling his "House of Cards" character, Frank Underwood, to question why he was fired from the show and his character killed off amid the sexual assault claims.

“I can promise you this: 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,” he declared in the 2018 video.

On Christmas Eve in 2019, he posted another strange video, again channeling Frank Underwood. “You didn’t really think I was going to miss the opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas, did you?” he said in the clip, which showed him sitting in front of a roaring fire, wearing a holiday sweater and drawling about having "my health back," "making changes in my life" and casting his vote for "more good in this world."

In the summer of 2019, a month after the Nantucket case fell apart, he showed up at a museum in Rome to stand next to a statue of a boxer at rest to perform a reading of a poem by Italian poet Gabriele Tinti, “The Boxer.” He did not make it clear what he was trying to accomplish with the performance.

In April, 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic was surging in America, Spacey suggested that his downfall due to misconduct allegations was comparable to the struggles of people losing their jobs because of the pandemic.

He spoke during an episode of the "Bits & Pretzels" podcast about "what it feels like to suddenly find yourself in a situation you could not possibly have prepared for or anticipated was coming."

Suicide Lifeline: If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) any time of day or night or chat online.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'It gets better': Kevin Spacey posts Christmas video advice for suicidal