Actor Anthony Rapp has come forward with allegations that Kevin Spacey made a sexual advance toward him when he was 14 years old, BuzzFeed reports. Rapp, currently starring in Star Trek: Discovery, was a child actor in the Broadway production of George Furth’s Precious Sons in 1986 when he met Spacey, who was appearing that year in a revival of Long Day’s Journey Into Night. According to Rapp, Spacey befriended him at an after-show party; when they ran into each other at a later event, Spacey took Rapp and a 17-year-old friend of his to the Limelight, then invited him to a party at his apartment a few days later. (Rapp’s mother had relocated to New York with him during the run of the play, but he sometimes went to work events on his own.) Rapp says he went to the party, but since he was the only child in an apartment full of adults, got bored and ended up watching TV alone in the bedroom. At the end of the night, after the other guests had left, Rapp alleges that Spacey picked him up, placed him on the bed, and lay down on top of him, forcing Rapp to push him off. Spacey, now 58, was 26 years old at the time of the alleged incident. Rapp told BuzzFeed he’s never doubted Spacey’s intentions:
He was trying to seduce me. I don’t know if I would have used that language. But I was aware that he was trying to get with me sexually.
At the time, Spacey was a relatively unknown actor, and although Rapp was confused about the incident, he didn’t tell anyone about it. “It was this thing that happened, and I locked it away,” he said. But as Spacey’s star rose in the 1990s and his face and name became inescapable, Rapp began confiding in his friends. (BuzzFeed confirmed with multiple sources that Rapp told people about the alleged incident with Spacey as far back as 1990; he also told the story—with Spacey’s name redacted—to the Advocate in a 2001 interview.) But when the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke, and woman after woman went on the record to accuse the disgraced studio head of sexual harassment and sexual assault, Rapp was inspired to name Spacey publicly:
Part of what allowed the Harvey situation to occur was that there was this witting and unwitting conspiracy of silence. The only way these things can continue is if there’s no attention being paid to it, if it’s getting forgotten. … There’s so much more openness about talking about these issues, and so many people are coming forward and sharing their stories. The oxygen in the room is there for us to really do something about it.
But regardless of the positive change that may come from sharing his story, Rapp comes across as someone who’s been haunted by his alleged encounter with Spacey for many years. He has detailed memories of every time their paths have crossed since then, from unexpectedly seeing him on screen in 1988’s Working Girl to a chance run-in at the 1999 Tony Awards, when, according to Rapp, they made eye contact for the first and last time since the party:
It was that thing that I’ve always wondered over these years: Does he remember? Does he know who I am? Does he have any recollection? Is there any feeling about what happened? Does he regret it? I don’t know anything about what his relationship is to what happened. He looked at me, and I thought I saw some form of recognition, and I quickly looked away. I passed him and went out the door.
Update, Oct. 29, 2017: Kevin Spacey has responded to Rapp’s allegations via Twitter: