What Was Unmasked in Spacey Unmasked?

by 24USATVMay 14, 2024, 6 a.m. 20
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Kevin Spacey’s not-guilty verdicts in both his U.S. and U.K. sexual-misconduct cases felt “truly devastating” and “like being punched in the face” to the men who are featured in Spacey Unmasked. “Even though it absolves him of having committed a crime in those cases, I know that his behavior is not morally or ethically acceptable,” one interviewee said. Now streaming on Max, the two-part Channel 4 documentary acquired by ID tracks the rise and fall of Spacey’s career through the lens of his identity as a previously closeted gay man. Spacey came out after he was first publicly accused of assault during the Me Too movement in 2017, when Anthony Rapp alleged to BuzzFeed that Spacey had sexually assaulted him when he was 14. This prompted a wave of other accusations, which he denied.

With the help of some in-character videos as Frank Underwood, Spacey has been slowly attempting to make a comeback. Just last week, director Paul Schrader mentioned Spacey’s name while discussing a potential Frank Sinatra film. But this documentary isn’t letting people forget the allegations against him. It features nine new testimonies that include accusations against Spacey (all of those who came forward were identified by first name only with the exception of actor Travis Aaron Wade). Here’s what to know about Spacey Unmasked, including Spacey’s response.

What allegations appear in Spacey Unmasked?

The documentary includes new allegations of harassment and misconduct that span five decades, from the actor’s teenage years to his time on the House of Cards set. A high-school peer, Greg, gave Spacey a ride to a drama-club party when he was 16 or 17 and Spacey was about to graduate. While Greg was driving, Spacey allegedly reached over to grab his genitals in an “aggressive” manner. Andy, who worked at the Public Theatre in New York in 1981, said Spacey was around often because he was performing Shakespeare in Central Park. Spacey allegedly once came into the office with a “full-scale” erection in his pants, pulled him onto a desk, and pressed against him. “If he could do that to me back when he had no power, what’s he gonna do with that now?” Andy recalls thinking as Spacey got more famous. “What’s he gonna do with that anger?”

Several interviewees say they thought Spacey wanted to be their friend or mentor and were initially excited about the industry parties or platonic meet-ups that allegedly led to unwanted advances. Scott, a former Marine and aspiring actor who did postproduction work on Saving Private Ryan, alleges that Spacey invited him to a party where he put him in a “bear grip” and humped him. They later saw Saving Private Ryan in a movie theater, where Spacey allegedly started masturbating during gory footage of the invasion of Normandy — then grabbed Scott’s hand to try to get him to “help.” He claimed that Spacey told him during a later encounter that you have to “pay the toll of sexual favors” to achieve a certain level of fame in Hollywood. Scott is one of several straight men, including Travis Aaron Wade, who suggest that Spacey was not deterred when they shared their sexuality or even seemed to like the challenge of trying to “flip” them. Allegedly, in a hotel encounter, Spacey put his arm against the door and locked it before Wade kissed him and was able to leave.

Other allegations in the documentary are tied to Spacey’s tenure as the artistic director of London’s Old Vic. Ruari, who performed in a 2013 show at London’s Old Vic during Spacey’s tenure, alleges that Spacey “put his left hand down by my bum, and he stuck his middle finger as far up me as possible” during a press-night after-party at the Savoy Hotel. According to Ruari, Spacey immediately moved on to pose for photographers. Tim, who participated in Old Vic’s New Voices program for young talent ages 18 to 26, said he thought he felt Spacey’s penis on his leg when Spacey allegedly held him with both arms and pressed his body up against his during a workshop. Danny, who worked at the Old Vic from 2007 to 2008, alleges that Spacey pushed his groin “on my face” during a performance for families with children. While Spacey was creative director at the U.K. theater, he also traveled to the U.S. to give master classes. Seth, who met Spacey at one such workshop as a fourth-year Juilliard student, alleges that Spacey later made an unwanted sexual advance on him, whispering in his ear and touching his inner thigh while they watched a performance in a theater.

Finally, Spacey allegedly engaged in misconduct on the set of House of Cards. Daniel, who worked as an extra on the show from 2013 to 2017, played a small role where he interacted with Spacey’s character. Daniel alleges that Spacey groped him when he was 23, touching his penis through his pants. Another background actor recalls calling the union on Daniel’s behalf after witnessing him trying to hide from Spacey at one point. Daniel said he doesn’t see his alleged experience with Spacey as criminal but as “disgusting behavior from a professional on set.” Meanwhile, Evelyn, who worked as a crew member on the show from 2012 to 2015, recalled seeing Spacey engaging in “grabby flirtatiousness” and getting uncomfortably close to background actors. She alleges that Spacey was “fixed on” one crew member to the point that their boss moved them off set, and it was implied that Spacey had female production assistants due to his “bad behavior” with men. (In the documentary, production company MRC said in a statement that it took immediate action when made aware of a “remark and gesture” by Spacey in 2012, while Netflix said it was unaware of any on-set incidents with him until CNN’s 2017 report.)

Who else appears in the documentary?

Randall Fowler, Kevin’s older brother, alleges that their father was a Holocaust denier who not only physically beat him but also raped him “for years” starting when he was around 13 or 14. Randall said he threatened his father so that he would never lay a hand on Kevin but thinks his younger brother still had a difficult childhood growing up in their “violent” home. According to Randall, acting was a way for Kevin to “escape where he came from.” The pair have been estranged for decades.

What has Kevin Spacey said about Spacey Unmasked?

The documentary, which notes that Spacey said he had not been given enough time and information to respond to the documentary’s testimonies, includes the following statement from him: “I have consistently denied — and now successfully defended — numerous allegations made both in the US and UK, both criminal and civil, and each time have been able to source evidence undermining the allegations and have been believed by a jury of my peers.”

Before the release of Spacey Unmasked, Spacey gave a lengthy interview acknowledging that he has been “promiscuous,” “flirty,” “annoying at times,” and “definitely persistent” — but denying that he ever engaged in any illegal behavior. He specifically claimed he has never locked a door or physically blocked anyone from leaving a room or promised to advance anyone’s career in exchange for sexual favors. “I take full responsibility for my past behavior and my actions,” he said. “But I cannot and will not take responsibility or apologize to anyone who’s made up stuff about me or exaggerated stories about me.”

Elsewhere during the interview, he said his decision to come out as gay after a wave of assault and harassment allegations was “terribly timed” and that he had initially planned to share his sexuality if he won an Emmy for House of Cards.

Spacey Unmasked premiered in the U.S. on Investigation Discovery at 9 p.m. ET on May 13, and is now streaming on Max.

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