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Actor Anthony Rapp Alleges Kevin Spacey Assaulted Him In The 1980s

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

The latest Hollywood figure accused of sexual assault is Kevin Spacey, the star of the Netflix series "House Of Cards." Netflix said in a statement today that it was deeply troubled by the allegation. Separately, NPR has confirmed that "House Of Cards" will end after its next season.

This accusation against Spacey comes from another actor, Anthony Rapp, who's currently in the new "Star Trek" series. Rapp told BuzzFeed that when he was 14 years old, Spacey tried to seduce him after a party. They were both performing on Broadway at the time.

Quote, "he picked me up like a groom picks up the bride over the threshold," Rapp told BuzzFeed, "and then he lays down on top of me." Many people have been upset by the way Kevin Spacey responded to the accusation. Adam Vary broke the story for BuzzFeed.

ADAM VARY: Anthony alleges that Kevin Spacey had befriended him, invited him to this party. And when he arrived at the party it was essentially all adults, which was not unusual for Anthony as a child actor. He was very used to being in the company of adults. So nothing struck him as odd.

But he got bored, so he wandered into the bedroom to watch TV. And that's where he was when Kevin Spacey stepped into the bedroom. And Anthony Rapp says he realized then that he was alone, that everyone else had left the party.

After Mr. Spacey allegedly picked up Anthony, put him on the bed, he said that essentially, Mr. Spacey pressed his body against him in a way that Anthony said was - made clear that he was making a sexual advance. And Anthony was able to squirm away. And that's the last time the two of them have spoken to Anthony's recollection.

SHAPIRO: Tell us about how Kevin Spacey responded.

VARY: Kevin Spacey first said that he had no memory of the event, but that by and large, I guess he believes Anthony's account, or at least he doesn't cast doubt on it. And he apologized and then took the opportunity to say that he's coming out as a gay man, which I think some people have found to be problematic at the least.

SHAPIRO: This was all in a two-paragraph statement on Twitter. And dozens of people in Hollywood and LGBT organizations have reacted very strongly to the statement. The gay rights organization GLAD said coming-out stories should not be used to deflect from allegations of sexual assault. Tell us more about this backlash.

VARY: The danger is that Mr. Spacey's essentially conflating two things. He is using an allegation that he made a sexual advance to a 14-year-old boy as an opportunity to talk about his sexual orientation. And I think in the eyes of many LGBTQ people, those are not related things.

Especially since Mr. Spacey did not address Anthony's age in his statement it caused, I think, a certain degree of confusion. In fact, if you looked at a lot of the stories about Anthony's allegations that broke on Sunday night, a lot of them led with Kevin Spacey coming out. So it seemed to almost, in some ways, distract from the actual allegation at hand.

SHAPIRO: We've heard a lot lately about sexual assault of women in Hollywood, and we hear less about sexual assault of men. How widespread do you think this is?

VARY: You know, I think that's a question we're all starting to answer for ourselves in the weeks following the Weinstein story first breaking. You know, one of the things that Anthony said really moved him to tell the story is that he felt really awake to the moment we are living in.

And it does feel like at the very least right now people are in a much better place to listen to victims and really believe them. And so I'm certainly at least hopeful that with Anthony coming forward, more men will feel like they are able to step forward and share their stories.

SHAPIRO: Adam Vary of BuzzFeed speaking with us from Los Angeles. Thanks for your time.

VARY: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.