Thursday 19 September 2019

Sue Perkins rounds on Kevin Spacey over coming-out statement

Actor Anthony Rapp accused the 58-year-old of historical harassment.

Sue Perkins (Ian West/PA)
Sue Perkins (Ian West/PA)

By Sherna Noah, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Sue Perkins has criticised Kevin Spacey for opening up about his sexuality in the same statement in which he apologised for any “inappropriate drunken behavior” with a 14-year-old in 1986.

The House Of Cards star and former artistic director of London’s Old Vic theatre tweeted a statement, saying that he is living “as a gay man”, after actor Anthony Rapp accused the 58-year-old of historical harassment.

He has been widely condemned for conflating the two statements.

Kevin Spacey

Presenter, comedian and former Great British Bake Off co-host Perkins, who has talked openly about her sexuality, wrote on Twitter “Well done Kev”.

She criticised the star for staying “silent on your sexuality”  until the alleged sexual harassment.

“In doing so, you simultaneously undervalue the horrific nature of the allegation and set back the LGBT+ community. Well done”, she wrote.

In an interview with BuzzFeed, Rapp said Spacey, then aged 26, placed him on a bed and climbed on top of him following a party at his apartment.

Spacey said he is “beyond horrified” by the claim, that he does not remember the alleged incident, “which would have been over 30 years ago. But if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior”.

He said the story “has encouraged me to address other things about my life”.

In the Twitter post, he added: “I know that there are stories out there about me and that some have been fuelled by the fact that I have been so protective of my privacy.

“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.

People Kevin Spacey

“I want to deal with this honestly and openly and that starts with examining my own behaviour.”

Actor @billyeichner wrote: “That Kevin Spacey statement. Nope. Absolutely not. Nope.

“But honestly I hesitate to make jokes because the Spacey statement is truly disgusting, irresponsible and dangerous.”

@rilaws said: “For a famous person to deflect these accusations with a long-in-the-making coming out is so cruel to his supposed new community it stings.”

@larrywilmore wrote: “Kevin Spacey’s comment was wrong on so many levels.”

Rapp‏ commented on Twitter: “I came forward with my story, standing on the shoulders of the many courageous women and men who have been speaking out to shine a light and hopefully make a difference, as they have done for me.”

Double Oscar winner Spacey is best known for the film American Beauty and TV drama House Of Cards.

His long-running tenure at The Old Vic hit the headlines a year after he joined when he reported to police that he had been attacked in a park at about 4am on a Saturday morning.

He later dropped the complaint, saying that a youth had conned him into handing over his mobile while he was walking his dog and that he injured himself when he tripped over his pet as he chased the youth.

On Monday, following Rapp’s accusation, the Royal Court Theatre’s artistic director, Vicky Featherstone, was asked if she was aware of stories about Spacey when he was working in London.

She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think that many people in theatre and the creative industries have been aware of many stories of many people over a lot of years.”

After the Harvey Weinstein allegations there had been an “opening of the floodgates and a very important moment for us all throughout society, not just in our industry”, she said.

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