Kevin Spacey: People had 'concerns' for years, says top theatre director

Royal Court Theatre’s Victoria Featherstone has described the Weinstein allegations as the ‘opening of the floodgates’

Clarisse Loughrey
Monday 30 October 2017 10:28 GMT
Kevin Spacey: People had 'concerns' for years, says top theatre director

One of London’s top theatre directors has alleged the community has had “concerns” over Kevin Spacey for years.

The two-time Oscar winner has responded to allegations that he made sexual advances on actor Anthony Rapp when he was 14 years old, stating he is “beyond horrified to hear his story” but does not remember the incident.

“But if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behaviour, and I am sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him all these years,” he added.

As part of a discussion on sexual misconduct on Radio 4’s Today, Victoria Featherstone, artistic director of the Royal Court Theatre, was asked whether she was aware of any stories about Spacey when he was working in London, as artistic director of the Old Vic.

“I think that many people in the theatre and in the creative industries have been aware of many stories of many people over a lot of years, and Kevin Spacey would be one of the people that people have had concerns about, yes,” she said.

After the Harvey Weinstein allegations, Featherstone added that there had been an "opening of the floodgates and a very important moment for us all throughout society, not just in our industry."

“We have a culture across society which has accept this... it’s deep in our DNA to accept these behaviours. And it’s only now that we’re finding the vocabularies and the confidence and the means to have these conversations,” she added.

Harvey Weinstein: The celebrities who have accused him of sexual misconduct so far

In an interview with Buzzfeed, Rapp said a 26-year-old Spacey had befriended him when they were both performing on Broadway. He attended a party at Spacey’s apartment in 1986, stating that, at the end of the party, an inebriated Spacey picked him up, placed him on his bed, and climbed on top of him.

Spacey’s decision to come out as gay as part of his apology has been widely criticised, including by many prominent Hollywood figures, for implying causation with being closeted and behaving inappropriately with a minor.

“This story has encouraged me to address other things about my life.” Spacey’s statement reads. “I have loved and had romantic encounters with men throughout my life, and I choose now to live as a gay man. I want to deal with this honestly and openly and that starts with examining my own behaviour.”

Comedian Cameron Esposito tweeted in response: “Just wanna be really f*cking clear that being gay has nothing to do w/ going after underage folks.” Comedian and writer Guy Branum wrote, “The classiest way to come out of the closet is as a PR smokescreen to distract people from the fact that you tried to molest a child.”

The editor of Gay Times, Josh Rivers, also believes the statement to be highly problematic. He told the Press Association, “It would make more sense for him to come out as an alcoholic than to conflate his sexuality with his alleged behaviour. Kevin Spacey choosing this moment to declare his sexuality, as if it has anything to do with his alleged behaviour, is highly problematic.”

“This conflation is precisely the type of manipulation to which our community has become acutely attuned, and we won’t stand for it,” he added. “Society has come a long way, but we are still fighting for the rights and visibility of many in our community... Kevin has done us all a disservice.”

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