Chicago native Anthony Rapp, a successful stage actor now seen on the TV series “Star Trek Discovery,” has accused Kevin Spacey of sexually propositioning him when he was 14.
Rapp tells Buzzfeed that in 1986, while both were performing on Broadway, Spacey befriended the teenage actor and invited him to his home for a party. Later that night, Spacey, then 26, carried Rapp to his bed and climbed on top of him.
Rapp said when he sees Spacey now, “my stomach churns. I still to this day can’t wrap my head around so many aspects of it. It’s just deeply confusing to me.”
Though Spacey, now 58, did not respond to Buzzfeed’s requests for comment, he issued a statement Sunday night on social media apologizing for the encounter, which he said he doesn’t remember, and acknowledging for the first time that he’s gay.
“I have a lot of respect and admiration for Anthony Rapp as an actor,” Spacey wrote. “I’m beyond horrified to hear his story. I honestly do not remember the encounter, it would have been over 30 years ago. But if I did behave then as he described, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior, and I am sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him all these years.”
He said that he has had romantic relationships with both men and women throughout his life, “and I choose now to live as a gay man.”
Though Rapp, who grew up in Joliet, previously had not named Spacey as the offender in the event, he said he felt compelled to come forward in light of accusations by multiple women against Hollywood studio chief Harvey Weinstein. He said he has not spoken to Spacey since that experience, through Spacey’s career rise that has included a Tony Award, two Oscar-winning film roles and the lead on the acclaimed Netflix series “House of Cards.”
Rapp went on to originate the role of Mark in “Rent” and play the title role in a hit revival of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.” He appears now as Lt. Paul Stamets on “Star Trek Discovery” on CBS All Access.
At the time of their meeting, Rapp was taking a semester off from school in Joliet to live with his mother, Mary, in New York and appear on Broadway in “Precious Sons,” while Spacey was supporting Jack Lemmon in a revival of “Long Day’s Journey Into Night.”
The two actors had run into one another at theater parties, and while Rapp was entertaining a visiting friend, 17, from Joliet, Spacey invited the duo to the hot nightclub Limelight, where they socialized in a VIP area. There, he invited Rapp to the party at his Manhattan apartment a few days later, Rapp recalled.
Rapp showed up alone at the party and, realizing he knew nobody, wandered into the bedroom to watch TV, he said. When Spacey turned up at the bedroom door, Rapp realized everyone else had left the party.
Without a word, Rapp said, Spacey “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.
“He was trying to seduce me. 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 managed to “squirm” away, he said, before the contact became intimate. He told Spacey he planned to leave, “and he was like, ‘Are you sure you wanna go?’ I said, ‘Yes, good night,’ and then I did leave.”
Rapp considered reaching to Spacey in the following days to discuss the experience, he said, but he never did, and he has no recollection of discussing it with his mother. He came out as gay in 1992.
“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.”