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Kevin Spacey: Old Vic accused of ignoring sexual misconduct allegations

November 9, 2017 · 

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Numerous stories emerge saying London theatre paid no heed to allegations of groping and inappropriate sexual behaviour by the actor

Numerous stories emerge saying London theatre paid no heed to allegations of groping and inappropriate sexual behaviour by the actor

Numerous stories emerge saying London theatre paid no heed to allegations of groping and inappropriate sexual behaviour by the actor

Actors and former staff at the Old Vic have accused the theatre of turning a blind eye to inappropriate sexual behaviour by Kevin Spacey during the 11 years that the Hollywood star was its artistic director.

A number of people who have worked at the theatre in London have contacted the Guardian claiming it was well known that Spacey groped and behaved in an inappropriate way with young men at the time.

Roberto Cavazos, a Mexican actor, said he recalled a “couple of unpleasant encounters” with Spacey including, being “squeezed” by him in the Old Vic bar, in a posting on Facebook.

A former employee told the Guardian: “We were all involved in keeping it quiet. I witnessed him groping men many times in all sorts of different situations,” on a day when other allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviour by Spacey emerged.

Spacey has been in focus since actor Anthony Rapp accused him of making drunken sexual advances when Rapp was 14. Since then, several more allegations about Spacey’s conduct have emerged in both the US and the UK.

A representative for Spacey released a statement on Wednesday that said the actor “is taking the time necessary to seek evaluation and treatment” and “no other information is available at this time.”

Cavazos said there were many young men with a “Kevin Spacey story”. He added: “It seems that it only took a male under 30 to make Mr Spacey feel free to touch us.” More common was that Spacey was in the bar at the Old Vic, “squeezing whoever caught his attention”, Cavazos said.

He recalled being told a similar story by many people of how Spacey invited young male actors to the Old Vic to “talk about their careers”. Cavazos continued: “When they arrived at the theatre, [Spacey] had prepared a picnic with champagne on the stage, beautifully lit.”

Cavazos said his direct experiences with Spacey were on the edge of harassment. “Had I been a woman, I probably would not have hesitated to identify it as such, but I suppose that the lack of a more specifically direct or aggressive action led me to justify the incident as ‘one of those things’,” he said.

A former Old Vic employee, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Guardian he saw Spacey take advantage of a friend of his after a party in 2011.

He said: “We were all involved in keeping it quiet. I witnessed him groping men many times in all sorts of different situations … at his apartment in North Lambeth and even at the Old Vic itself and his favourite pub the Pineapple, which is right near the Old Vic. He was taking advantage of the fact that he is this great icon.

“He touched men on the crotch. Doing it really fast so they couldn’t get out of the way.”

The former employee criticised the Old Vic for appearing not to know what was happening. “The thing that really upsets me is the hypocrisy of places like the Old Vic that pretend now that they didn’t know. ”

Rebecca Gooden was an intern at the theatre in 2010 and says stories about Spacey’s behaviour were commonplace.

She said she was told that “pretty” young men were not hired to work in the theatre administration following an earlier incident. “There was a running ‘joke’ about it,” she said. “I was informed that I was not allowed to talk about it outside the theatre. I am honestly sickened that the theatre has chosen to plead ignorance.”

Sally Greene, a philanthropist and political socialite, led the bid to buy the Old Vic in 1998 when its future as a theatre was in doubt. As chief executive she was responsible for luring Spacey to London to become its artistic director in 2004, a move which re-energised the theatre artistically and commercially.

In a statement the theatre said: “The Old Vic is not currently in a position to comment on specifics of what may have taken place in the past.”

The theatre said that anyone with concerns over any inappropriate behaviour by Spacey at the Old Vic should email them at confidential@oldvictheatre.com. The statement went on: “Since we set up this confidential line of communication, we are already seeing the great benefits of the new policy of openness and the safe sharing of information. We stand by, support and strongly encourage the industry wide culture shift that is underway.”

Several others have made allegations about Spacey. In the the Sun , a west Sussex barman, Daniel Beal, alleged Spacey exposed himself to him and then gave him a £5,000 watch to keep him quiet.

An anonymous man on Wednesday told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme that he was traumatised after he woke up to find Spacey lying on him.

The man says he was a teenager when the incident took place in 1985. He had been invited to stay at Spacey’s New York home and the actor asked him to share his bed. He declined and slept on the sofa, waking up to find Spacey’s head on his stomach and his arms wrapped around him.

The cascade of allegations – which also include those of a film-maker, Tony Montana, who says he was groped by Spacey in an LA pub – is having an effect on the actor professionally.

The International TV Academy has withdrawn the planned offer of a special Emmy award while Netflix has suspended production on the sixth season of House of Cards “to give us time to review the current situation and to address any concerns of our cast and crew”.

Spacey’s method of apologising – coming out at the same time as saying sorry for a sexual advance on a minor – has also attracted derision from the gay community. The actor Zachary Quinto called it “deeply sad and troubling”.

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