Last June, Anthony Rapp settled in at the home of his good friend and fellow actor Camryn Manheim to watch the Tony Awards. The New York natives were both in Toronto working, and Manheim had invited Rapp and his boyfriend over to partake in the beloved theater geek ritual. But for the first time, Rapp — a working actor since he was 9 years old, and most famously part of the original cast of the musical Rent — felt something he’d never experienced before with the Tonys: dread.
And that’s because the host that night was Kevin Spacey.
Rapp is publicly alleging for the first time that in 1986, Spacey befriended Rapp while they both performed on Broadway shows, invited Rapp over to his apartment for a party, and, at the end of the night, picked Rapp up, placed him on his bed, and climbed on top of him, making a sexual advance. According to public records, Spacey was 26. Rapp was 14.
For years, Rapp, now 46, told no one about his experience, and he has never spoken with Spacey since. But as Spacey’s star began to rise through the 1990s and 2000s — including a Tony Award, two Oscars, a decadelong run as the creative director of the Old Vic theater in London, and six seasons and counting on the hit Netflix series House of Cards — Rapp’s frustration, anger, and incredulity with the sexual boundary he said Spacey crossed with him grew as well. Seeing Spacey now, “My stomach churns,” Rapp said. “I still to this day can’t wrap my head around so many aspects of it. It’s just deeply confusing to me.”
Representatives for Spacey, now 58, did not respond to numerous phone calls, emails, and a letter detailing the allegations. However after this story was published, Spacey posted on Twitter that he did not remember the encounter with Rapp.
“But if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior,” Spacey wrote.
“This story has encouraged me to address other things about my life. I know that there are other stories out there about me and that some have been fueled by the fact that I have been so protective of my privacy,” he continued. He also acknowledged for the first time publicly that “I now choose to live as a gay man.”
After the accusations leveled against Harvey Weinstein sparked an unprecedented conversation about sexual abuse and harassment in the entertainment industry, Rapp said he feels compelled to come forward.
“And not to simply air a grievance,” he said, “but to try to shine another light on the decades of behavior that have been allowed to continue because many people, including myself, being silent. … I’m feeling really awake to the moment that we’re living in, and I’m hopeful that this can make a difference.”