It’s been one year since Kevin Spacey’s fall from grace.
The two-time Oscar-winning actor has been accused of sexual assault or misconduct by more than a dozen men, a snowball effect after actor Anthony Rapp came forward with a disturbing story of his own. In an interview with BuzzFeed News published last October, Rapp alleged that Spacey, then 26, made unwanted sexual advances toward him in 1986 when he was 14 years old.
“I was really reckoning with, ‘What can I stand?’” Rapp reflected to BuzzFeed News one year later. “‘I’m aware I’m taking on someone who’s beloved, and how much can I stand?’ And I was ready for it.”
It was two weeks after the explosive Harvey Weinstein exposés and the beginning of the #MeToo movement as we know it today that Rapp decided to come forward. He was the first man to make a sexual misconduct claim against a prominent man. Of the small group of high-profile males in the TV, film, and theater worlds who have spoken out, such as Terry Crews, he remains the only openly queer man to do so.
“We all felt like nothing could ever touch these people,” Rapp explained. “Nothing could ever impact their behavior, because we were powerless. It really felt that way. You couldn’t even think about any other way. It was not available to us.”
After Rapp shared his story, Spacey apologized — “If I did behave as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior” — and came out as gay. His mea culpa was widely panned as the disgraced actor was criticized for “hiding under the rainbow.”
Netflix halted production on House of Cards after eight employees of the hit show accused Spacey of sexual misconduct. When Spacey’s alleged ongoing behavior over the past three decades came out in the open, Rapp called it “cathartic” but “really upsetting.”
“Part of the story I’d been telling myself was, ‘Well, he was only doing this to older people, so [what I experienced] was an aberration,’” he told BuzzFeed. “Which wasn’t true.”
The career repercussions for Spacey were swift, as he was replaced by Christopher Plummer in the completed film All the Money in the World. “That was really meaningful,” Rapp said of director Ridley Scott’s decision. “He was absolutely unequivocal.”
Spacey is under investigation for multiple assaults in two states in the U.S., and in London. The actor essentially went into hiding at the end of last year, a decision that Rapp was asked about.
“I genuinely, I don’t know, as a fellow human being, I hope he can find some kind of way to have some kind of — I don’t know what it would be, but some way to make himself whole, you know?” he replied. “I really mean that. I don’t think anyone behaves the way he behaved for so long… I don’t think he was happy. He had demons. And so, on a certain level, I can have some compassion for that.”
He paused, adding, “But at the same time, every human being has some form of a demon, and the question is can you wrestle with them enough so you don’t hurt other people.”
Rapp revealed that he would be open to sitting down with the actor if it was something Spacey requested.
According to BuzzFeed, “‘Somebody asked me a while ago, if he did want to talk to me, would I,’ Rapp said with a deep sigh. ‘And I think I would. I guess I’d have to really think about the circumstances and the environment and the safety factor.’ He paused. ‘I mean, potentially. I wouldn’t rule that out. I would need him to fully own what he did. Not just to me, but to so many people.’”
Rapp shared the interview on Twitter, saying that he hopes to have contributed “something meaningful” to the #MeToo movement.
— Anthony Rapp (@albinokid) October 17, 2018
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