Kevin Spacey has revisited his controversial 2017 statement in which he publicly disclosed his sexual orientation as gay in response to Anthony Rapp’s accusation of sexual misconduct.
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“Members of the LGBTQ+ community were upset because I came out while I was responding to an accusation, and now I understand why it was perceived that way,” Spacey conveyed to a London court. “It wasn’t my original intent.” The actor is providing testimony during the third week of his trial at Southwark Crown Court, where he has entered a plea of not guilty to 12 charges of sexual assault involving four different men.
In 2017, Rapp was the first individual to publicly allege sexual misconduct, disclosing to Buzzfeed that the “House of Cards” actor had made inappropriate advances towards him at a party when Rapp was just 14 years old.
Spacey detailed the circumstances surrounding the statement, which drew widespread condemnation from his peers at the time, including Billy Eichner, Zachary Quinto, and Rose McGowan. GLAAD also expressed disapproval, with the organization’s CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis, stating, “Coming-out stories should not be used to deflect from allegations of sexual assault.”
Spacey informed the U.K. court on Thursday that following Buzzfeed’s approach regarding Rapp’s accusation, he engaged in a series of discussions with his team, including lawyers, publicists, and business managers, to determine how to respond.
“People were acting professionally and doing their best,” Spacey noted during his testimony in the U.K. court on Thursday. However, he added, “I was under significant pressure to make a statement. It was suggested that it would become a PR nightmare if I didn’t.”
Spacey revealed that some members of his team held differing opinions about the chosen course of action, but they ultimately conducted a vote and released a statement in which Spacey publicly disclosed his sexual orientation as gay.
“I comprehend why people reacted the way they did to it,” Spacey acknowledged.
He further explained that he had contemplated coming out publicly for a significant period and had even considered doing so two years earlier at an unspecified event. “The gay community had been urging me to come out for quite some time,” he disclosed.
Spacey clarified that he hadn’t initially intended to come out in response to the Buzzfeed article but had hoped that it would, at the very least, “contribute something positive and help put the question of my sexuality behind me.”
“Perhaps now, since Anthony Rapp’s accusation against me has been proven false, people may read that statement with a bit more understanding,” he concluded.
Rapp’s $40 million sexual battery lawsuit against Spacey was unsuccessful in October of last year.
On his initial day of testimony on Thursday, Spacey revealed that he had been scarcely employed in the six years following Rapp’s initial conversation with Buzzfeed.
Inquired by his barrister, Patrick Gibbs KC, about his financial status, Spacey replied, “I was very fortunate in the career I had.”
Gibbs followed up by asking, “Are you a wealthy individual at present?”
Due to his lack of income and substantial legal expenses, Spacey responded simply, “No.”