HOLLYWOOD A-lister Kevin Spacey has come out as gay in a dramatic statement, issued after a fellow actor accused him of sexual misconduct.
Star Trek: Discovery actor Anthony Rapp, 46, detailed an alleged incident that he says happened at a 1986 party at Spacey's house when Rapp was 14 years old and Spacey was 26, in a new interview with Buzzfeed.
In a statement posted to his official Twitter account, Spacey said he was "beyond horrified" to learn of Rapp's allegations, but said the story had encouraged him to "address other things about my life."
Rumours about Spacey's sexuality have been rife for two decades now - and the actor even made nods to the industry whispers when hosting this year's Tonys, joking about coming out of the closet.
In today's statement, Spacey acknowledged that there had been "stories out there" about his private life over the years.
"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. I want to deal with this openly and honestly and that starts with examining my own behaviour."
Rapp's allegation dates back to 1986, when was a child actor earning praise for a Broadway run of the play Precious Sons. Spacey, then a relative unknown, was also on Broadway at the time, and Rapp alleges that Spacey invited him to attend a party he was hosting in his Manhattan apartment.
Arriving at the party alone, Rapp says he found he was the only non-adult in attendance, and spent most of the evening sat in a bedroom watching television.
As the party ended, Rapp alleges that Spacey appeared in the room visibly drunk and moved towards him.
"He picked me up like a groom picks up the bride over the threshold. But I don't, like, squirm away initially, because I'm like, 'What's going on?' And then he lays down on top of me," Rapp alleged to Buzzfeed.
"He was trying to seduce me," Rapp continued. "I don't know if I would have used that language. But I was aware that he was trying to get with me sexually."
Rapp alleges that he was able to break free, fleeing the apartment.
"The older I get, and the more I know, I feel very fortunate that something worse didn't happen," he said. "And at the same time, the older I get, the more I can't believe it. I could never imagine [that] anyone else I know would do something like that to a 14-year-old boy."
Rapp said he'd found it hard to watch Spacey's star rise to fame since that alleged incident, and had had several near-encounters with the older actor: Once, when Rapp was filming the 1993 movie Six Degrees of Separation, he says Spacey visited the set, sitting just a few tables away during a lunch break.
Both men attended the 1999 Tony Awards, and Rapp says they almost bumped into each other in the men's rest room, Spacey briefly meeting his gaze before continuing on.
"In retrospect I'm very grateful that I wasn't alone with him," he said. "Then I don't know what the f**k I would have done."
Buzzfeed reported they had spoken to at least half a dozen of Rapp's friends and loved ones who had confirmed Rapp had privately told them about the alleged 1986 incident at some stage in the past 30 years.
Rapp had also previously referenced the alleged incident in a 2001 interview with Advocate Magazine, the resulting interview referring to Spacey only as "a certain leading man" in "a certain award-winning film."
Rapp said it was the growing willingness to speak out about sexual misconduct in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein sex scandal that made him decide to go public with his allegations.
"There's so much more openness about talking about these issues, and so many people are coming forward and sharing their stories. The oxygen in the room is there for us to really do something about it," he told Buzzfeed.
In his statement today, Spacey said he did not remember the allged encounter, "but if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inapproriate drunken behaviour, and I am sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him all these years."
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