NEW YORK • After years of fierce privacy about his personal life, two-time Oscar winner Kevin Spacey said on Sunday night he has chosen to live his life as a gay man and also apologised to actor Anthony Rapp for an incident Rapp said occurred in 1986.
The rapid cycle of accusation and apology began on Sunday evening, when BuzzFeed published an article in which Rapp alleged that Spacey "was trying to get with me sexually" after a party at Spacey's apartment 31 years ago, when Rapp was 14.
After all the other guests had left, Rapp said that Spacey, who appeared intoxicated, "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".
Spacey had not responded to requests for comment from BuzzFeed. But a few hours after the article was published, he posted a statement on Twitter, saying he was "horrified", but did not remember the encounter.
He said he owed Rapp a "sincere apology" for what he said would have been "deeply inappropriate drunken behaviour", and added that Rapp's accusation "has encouraged me to address other things about my life".
He then disclosed that he had "loved and had romantic encounters with men throughout my life and I choose now to live as a gay man".
Rapp confirmed the contents of the BuzzFeed article and said he had decided to speak out at a time when several women have accused producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault. In recent weeks, prominent men including director James Toback, journalist Mark Halperin and former United States president George H.W. Bush have also faced allegations of sexual harassment or assault.
"I came forward with my story, standing on the shoulders of the many courageous women and men who have been speaking out, to shine a light and hopefully make a difference, as they have done for me," Rapp said in an e-mail statement.
"Everything I wanted to say about my experience is in that article and I have no further comment about it at this time."
Rapp said he met Spacey in 1986 when both were performing in Broadway shows. Rapp was a child actor in a new play called Precious Sons, while Spacey, then 26, was performing in a revival of Long Day's Journey Into Night.
Rapp told BuzzFeed that when he met Spacey at a Broadway party that year, Spacey invited him to the party where the sexual advance occurred.
Actress Erin Quill said Rapp told her of his allegation years ago. "He told me the story in 1992 and I stand by Anthony's account," she said in an e-mail on Sunday.
Spacey, now 58, hosted this year's Tony Awards. He won his Oscars in 1996 for The Usual Suspects and in 2000 for American Beauty. He currently stars in the Netflix political series House Of Cards.
Rapp, now 46, is currently featured on the television series Star Trek: Discovery.