On Saturday, Buzzfeed News published a piece written by Harry Dreyfuss (son of actor Richard Dreyfuss) detailing his sexual assault at the hands of Kevin Spacey when he was just 18 years-old. The article follows allegations by at least eight men who claim Spacey sexually harassed or assaulted them, the first of whom was Anthony Rapp, also through a Buzzfeed piece. Dreyfuss’ article describes the 2008 incident where Spacey ‘groped’ him while running lines with his father.
When Harry was a senior in high school, Richard Dreyfuss starred in a Spacey-directed play in London. Harry describes his admiration for the actor/director and the hope he had at that age to follow in the footsteps of his father and become an actor. When he was first introduced to Spacey, Dreyfuss recalls him being charming and welcoming–exactly as you would hope your idol to be.
‘He saw me and his eyes lit up,’ Dreyfuss writes, ‘He gave me such a warm smile, and instead of shaking my hand, he gave me a hug. Instantly, my young-man-perpetually-seeking-father-figures heart melted. All I remember thinking was you’re so nice.‘ Dreyfuss repeated that mantra right up until the moment that Spacey inappropriately touched him.
Harry and Richard visited Spacey’s London apartment one night for Richard to run lines. Spacey had Harry read with his dad but once the scene began, placed his hand on the young man’s thigh and eventually worked his way inward. Harry describes how he tried to non-verbally tell the actor he was uncomfortable without alerting his father–he didn’t want to jeopardize his casting.
‘I was unable to process what was happening:’ Dreyfuss writes, ‘My dad and I were pretending to be lovers in a play while Kevin Spacey was trying to seduce me and all the while in real life I was a hapless, straight virgin who just wanted to become a famous actor.’
It was not until the Harvey Weinstein allegations and #MeToo social media campaign that Dreyfuss considered seriously coming forward with his story. He had relayed his experience as a joke before, but after nine years of contemplation, he says he saw the gravity of his situation, especially the power imbalance that made it possible. Like so many victims, Dreyfuss was concerned about what it would mean for a future in show business to make an enemy of such a powerful man by calling out his behaviour.
Since the first allegations about Spacey on Oct. 29, the actor has been additionally accused of ‘predatory behaviour’ and creating a ‘toxic’ work environment on the House of Cards set. Netflix has since released a statement saying that they will no longer be working with Spacey in any capacity.
‘Netflix will not be involved with any further production of House of Cards that includes Kevin Spacey,’ a spokesperson said, ‘We will continue to work with MRC [HoC‘s production company] during this hiatus time to evaluate our path forward as it relates to the show. We have also decided we will not be moving forward with the release of the film Gore, which was in post-production, starring and produced by Kevin Spacey.’
It was also announced Saturday that British police are investigating the case of a 23-year-old British actor (now 32) who has also accused Spacey of sexually abusing him while he was unconscious at Spacey’s London residence in 2008. The man had allegedly been invited for a drink, had smoked weed with the actor and then passed out. When he came to, Spacey was performing oral sex on him. The young actor fled the apartment while Spacey told him not to tell anyone.
The fate of House of Cards is still unknown at the moment (although some spin-offs could be in the works) and while it is unlikely any criminal cases will be charged in the States, the London-based one could possibly result in legal action against the actor.