Kevin Spacey has come out publicly as gay after years of speculation.
The Oscar-winning actor, who has fiercely guarded his personal life for years, announced his homosexuality on Twitter as he responded to allegations by actor Anthony Rapp that Spacey had tried to seduce him when he was 14 years old.
The House of Cards star, 58, tweeted: ‘I have loved and had romantic encounters with men throughout my life, and I choose now to live as a gay man.’
Spacey’s decision to come out as gay was made along with a mea culpa in which he described himself as ‘beyond horrified’ at Rapp’s allegations about him and insisting that he did not remember the encounter that took place more than 30 years ago.
But in the same breath, Spacey offered a ‘sincere apology’ to Rapp ‘for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior.’
Rapp, 46, who stars in the new Star Trek: Discovery series, told BuzzFeed News that Spacey, then 26, had invited him to his apartment for a party. It was 1986 and the 14-year-old Rapp was on Broadway in the play Precious Sons while Spacey was in the play Long Day’s Journey Into Night.
Rapp told BuzzFeed News that he became bored and went to watch television in Spacey’s bedroom until after midnight before realizing he was the only one left in the property with Spacey.
Rapp alleged that Spacey then appeared and ‘sort of stood in the doorway, kind of swaying. My impression when he came in the room was that he was drunk.’
He told BuzzFeed News that Spacey then ‘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,’ Rapp said.’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 said ultimately he was able to ‘wriggle’ away and left the apartment. He said he is speaking out now in the wake of the revelations about Harvey Weinstein.
In his tweet, Spacey expressed sorrow for the feelings Rapp had carried with him ‘all these years.’ There was a mixed response on Twitter to Spacey’s statement.
Twitter user @sociallySherri wrote: ‘Is Kevin Spacey trying to change the focus from the sexual assault of a 14 yr old to his own sexuality? The assault is what matters.’
Author and journalist Dan Savage tweeted: ‘Nope to Kevin Spacey’s statement. Nope. There’s no amount of drunk or closeted that excuses or explains away assaulting a 14-year-old child.’
Actress Rose McGowan chimed in and tweeted: ‘Bye bye, Spacey goodbye, it’s your turn to cry, that’s why we’ve gotta say goodbye. #ROSEARMY’
It was remarkable about-face for a man who has consistently refused to comment on his sexuality and his private life despite persistent rumors.
Spacey became a bona fide Hollywood star with his Oscar-winning turn as Verbal in Bryan Singer’s thriller the Usual Suspects, released in 1995.
He went on to win a second Academy Award for his role in American Beauty opposite Annette Bening and Mena Suvari in 1999.
In between, he put in terrific performances on the big screen in L.A. Confidential, Se7en, A Time To Kill and The Negotiator.
He also enjoyed success on Broadway and in London’s West End, and in 2003 he announced he was moving to London to become artistic director of the Old Vic.
As his star rose, so did interest in his personal life. In 2000, supermarket tabloid Star published a series of grainy photos that showed Spacey and a younger man looking intimate in a public park in the Chatsworth neighborhood of Los Angeles.
In 2004, a bloodied Spacey entered a police station in London claiming he’d been mugged and robbed of his mobile phone at 4:30 a.m. on a Saturday in a park close to the Old Vic.
Initially, the actor claimed he had been walking his dog when a robber hit him over the head and stole his mobile phone.
Then he changed the story to confess he’d fallen for a con by a young man who had asked to use his mobile phone and then runs off with it.
He changed his story again for a third time, insisting he’d hurt himself when he had tripped over his dog while walking it and hit his head.
In 2010, while promoting his movie Casino Jack, Spacey refused to be drawn into a discussion about his sexuality and whether or not he was gay.
‘I don’t live a lie,’ he said in the interview published by The Daily Beast. ‘You have to understand that people who choose not to discuss their personal lives are not living a lie. That is a presumption that people jump to,’ he added.
‘It’s just a line I’ve never crossed and never will. I don’t live a lie. I am different than some people would like me to be. No one’s personal life is in the public interest.’
Earlier this year, however, he wasn’t above poking fun at the rumors surrounding his sexuality when he hosted the Tony Awards on Broadway in June.
During the opening number, he arrived onstage dressed as Norma Desmond from Sunset Boulevard and sang to the audience: ‘I’m coming out.
He quickly followed it with, ‘Wait, no, wait,’ as the audience erupted in laughter.
Later in the opening, former Tony’s host Whoopi Goldberg stepped out of a closet on stage to give the House Of Cards star some advice about the role.
‘Whoopi, how long have you been in that closet?’ he asked, ‘Well Kevin, it depends on who you ask,’ the Sister Act star quipped.
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