Kevin Spacey says he was ‘pressured to come out as gay’ after sexual misconduct allegations
Kevin Spacey has said he was pressured to come out as gay after allegations of sexual misconduct were first levelled against him online.
The 63-year-old Oscar winner began giving evidence on Thursday at Southwark Crown Court in London where he is on trial for a series of sex offences.
Jurors heard that the star’s world “exploded” in 2017 when allegations made by actor Anthony Rapp emerged online in a Buzzfeed article, accusing Spacey of lying on top of him in a bedroom.
Detailing reaction to the story, Spacey said: “There was a rush to judgment and before the first question was asked or answered I lost my job, I lost my reputation, I lost everything in a matter of days.”
Allegations made by Rapp were found not proven in October last year but Spacey had in the mean time made a statement coming out as gay which he said “upset” the LGBT+ community.
Addressing the reasons for making the statement while facing allegations of an unwanted sexual advance in the US, he told jurors: “I was under a lot of pressure that I had to say something… if I didn’t it was going to be a nightmare, a PR nightmare.
“Members of the LGTBQ+ community were upset because I came out while I was responding to an accusation… now I understand why it was read that way but I hadn’t put those two things together.”
The gay community had been pressuring me for a very long time about coming out
The American Beauty actor told jurors he had wanted to come out for two years and at one stage had picked out a “particular event” to do it.
He said: “I thought in the face of this terrible accusation maybe I can do something at least positive.
“The gay community had been pressuring me for a very long time about coming out.
“Maybe now that the allegation against Mr Anthony Rapp has been proven to be false, maybe people will read that with a little bit more understanding now.”
Spacey denies charges including sexual assault and indecent assault, which are alleged to have been committed between 2001 and 2013.
He pleaded not guilty in January to three counts of indecent assault, three counts of sexual assault and one count of causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent.
The two-time Academy Award winner also previously denied four further charges of sexual assault and one count of causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent.
The trial continues.
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