Actor Kevin Spacey cleared the air around his controversial 2017 statement in which he declared himself as gay after Anthony Rapp accused him of sexual misconduct.
In a court in London, UK, Spacey said, “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 read that way,. It wasn’t how I intended it.”
In the third week of his trial at Southwark Crown Court, the actor puts forth evidence defending his case. Previously, he had claimed to be not guilty to 12 accusations of sexual assault against four different men.
Rapp was the first man to publicly share his sexual misconduct accusations in 2017. He shared to Buzzfeed, a media and entertainment company, that when he was 14 years old, the “House of Cards” actor approached him sexually.
Spacey’s statement was criticised by his then colleagues including Billy Eichner, Zachary Quinto and Rose McGowan. The actor was also condemned by GLAAD, and its CEO Sarah Kate at the time said, “Coming-out stories should not be used to deflect from allegations of sexual assault.”
Spacey attended a number of calls with his team, including lawyers, publicists and business managers, on how to respond after Buzzfeed reached out to him addressing Rapp’s allegations, he told the court on Thursday.
Spacey told the court, “People were being professionals and they did their best.” He added, “I was under a lot of pressure that I had to say something. That it would be a PR nightmare if I didn’t.”
So, at the time of the incident, though some members of his team disapproved his actions, as he said, they organised voting and thereafter released a statement telling about his sexual orientation of being gay. He said, “I understand why people responded the way they did to it.”
In addition, Spacey stated that he wanted to come out in public for a while but he finally did so at an event two years ago (he did not name the event). He said, “The gay community had been pressuring me for a very long time about coming out.”
He stated that he didn’t want to reveal this as an outcome of the Buzzfeed story but expected it would “do something at least positive [and] put the question of my sexuality behind me.” He said, “Maybe now the allegation against me by Anthony Rapp has been proven to be false, maybe people will read that statement with a little bit more understanding now.”
In October 2022, Rapp lost a $40 million sexual battery allegation against Spacey.
The actor said he barely worked for six years after Rapp came forward about his allegations to Buzzfeed. He gave the statement on the first day on the witness stand on Thursday.
When his barrister, Patrick Gibbs KC asked Spacey whether he was a rich man once, he answered, “I was very fortunate in the career I had.” “Are you a rich man now?” asked Gibbs. Spacey replied, “No”, pointing out his reduced income and large amount of legal bills.