Anthony Rapp, an actor in Star Trek: Discovery who got his big break in the Broadway production, Rent, has accused Kevin Spacey of an inappropriate encounter that Rapp said occurred when he was 14 and Spacey was 26.
You can read Rapp’s account here. In it, he vividly detailed the alleged encounter that he said occurred in 1986. “Rapp is publicly alleging for the first time that in 1986, Spacey befriended Rapp while they both performed on Broadway shows, invited Rapp over to his apartment for a party, and, at the end of the night, picked Rapp up, placed him on his bed, and climbed on top of him, making a sexual advance,” reported Buzzfeed. The exclusive interview provoked Spacey to offer an apology (although he said he didn’t remember the encounter) and to come out as gay.
Who is Anthony Rapp? SFGate once described him this way: “Anthony Rapp, best known as one of the original stars of the musical ‘Rent,’ is a very beige kind of guy. With sandy hair, white-blond brows and eyelashes, and a dusting of beard only a shade darker than his complexion, you might think he’d disappear into any crowd, if it weren’t for those gunmetal blue eyes punctuating the blank canvas of his face.” In addition to acting on Broadway, Rapp has a series of television and movie credits to his name and is a published author and musician.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Rapp Said That He Gave the Buzzfeed Interview to ‘Shine a Light’
Anthony Rapp’s accusation against Spacey comes against the backdrop of a series of sexual abuse allegations lodged against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. The Weinstein allegations have sparked a #metoo trend on social media in which others come forward to share their stories about sexual abuse and harassment. In addition to speaking to Buzzfeed, Rapp posted several tweets on his page @alibinokid in which he wrote, “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.” He said that he was not going to speak further about the incident.
“Everything I wanted to say about my experience is in that article, and I have no further comment about it at this time,” Rapp wrote.
2. Spacey Apologized to Rapp but Said He Doesn’t Remember the Incident
After Rapp’s interview with Buzzfeed, Spacey confirmed long-standing speculation on October 29 by announcing in a statement that he is living as a gay man, just hours after Rapp accused him of an inappropriate encounter when the actor was only 14-years-old.
In a lengthy statement that he posted to Twitter, Spacey, one of Hollywood’s highest profile actors, addressed the allegations made by Rapp. In that statement, Spacey apologized to Rapp “if I did behave then as he describes,” but he said he couldn’t remember the encounter, and he revealed, “I choose now to live as a gay man.”
This is the Spacey statement in full:
I have a lot of respect and admiration for Anthony Rapp as an actor. I’m beyond horrified to hear his story. I honestly do not remember the encounter, it would have been over 30 years ago. But if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior, and I am sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him all these years.
This story has encouraged me to address other things about my life. I know that there are stories out there about me and that some have been fueled by the fact that I have been so protective of my privacy. As those closest to me know, in my life I have had relationships with both men and women. I have loved and had romantic encounters with men throughout my life, and I choose now to live as a gay man. I want to deal with this honestly and openly and that starts with examining my own behavior.
This is how the statement looked on Spacey’s Twitter page:
In previous interviews, Spacey had always declined to reveal his sexual orientation. In a 2010 interview with The Daily Beast, Spacey said, “No one’s personal life is in the public interest. It’s gossip, bottom line.”
3. Rapp Has Been Acting Since Age Six & Starred in ‘Rent’
Rapp’s career began as a child actor on Broadway. “Anthony Rapp started his career at the age of six, and received his first professional job at the age of nine. His breakout came when he originated the role of ‘Mark Cohen’ in Jonathan Larson’s production of the Broadway musical ‘Rent.’ He can be heard on the original cast recording,” reports IMDB.
Rapp told Oasis Magazine of Rent when he was age 25:
Rent was the beginning of a string that hasn’t stopped. Literally, from one thing to the next, I would have a few weeks off. In the last three years, I haven’t had a month off without working, which is amazing. So, it certainly contributes to that sense of changing my life. But along with that, because the show is so intense and takes so much energy, it means I’ve had less time to devote to other things. When I would do other projects, I had time to do other stuff. This requires me to be focused in a way I never really had to be for a long time, just to make sure my body is able to accomplish the task of doing the show every night.
The IMDB site reports that Rapp worked in regional theater as a child. “As a child actor working in regional theater, appeared with All My Children (1970) star Louis Edmonds in production of ‘Oliver.’ He was Oliver; Edmonds was Fagin. This is briefly mentioned in Edmonds biography, ‘Big Lou’ by Craig Hamrick,” it says.
CBS reported of Rapp’s credits: “Rapp’s television credits include The Knick, Psych, Law & Order: SVU, Kidnapped, The Beach Boys: An American Family, and The X-Files.”
His movie credits are also many: “Rapp has been featured in a number of iconic feature films ranging from dramas like the Oscar Award-winning A Beautiful Mind, Six Degrees of Separation, and The Other Woman opposite Natalie Portman, to comedies like Dazed and Confused with Matthew McConaughey and Road Trip, directed by Todd Phillips. Additional film credits include Opening Night, Junction, Adventures in Babysitting, School Ties, Man of the Century, and David Searching. Also, he appeared in Winter Passing, a film written and directed by his brother, Adam Rapp,” according to CBS.
He went on to star in other memorable roles. SFGate noted that Rapp’s career “began in earnest with ‘Adventures in Babysitting’ when he was 15…From the title role in the Broadway revival of ‘You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,’ to a national tour of ‘Little Shop of Horrors,’ to memorable appearances in films such as ‘Six Degrees of Separation,’ Rapp has clearly used his Midwestern, every-dude looks to disappear perfectly into all kinds of character roles.”
4. Rapp Was Born in Chicago & Wrote That He Resists Labels
In a story in Advocate Magazine, Rapp discussed coming out to his family at age 19, although he says he rejects that label. The story says that he was born in Chicago, Illinois, and was raised in Joliet. The 1997 article described his occupation as “actor, writer, director, photographer.”
“What’s ironic to me about being on the cover of this magazine is that I have never actually come out as a gay man; I resist labels and their limits,” Rapp wrote in The Advocate. “In fact, I’ve been publicly out only by virtue of the fact that I’ve thanked my various boyfriends in my bios for plays I’ve been in. And that’s how I came out to my mother (my parents divorced in 1974): I told her that I had a boyfriend.”
His mother died of terminal cancer in 1997; Rapp wrote: “I will always be comforted by her words that she shared with me during one of my last visits: ‘I used to think there was something wrong with your sexuality, but I know now that it’s no different than the color of your eyes or your height or your voice. It’s just the way you are.'” Rapp’s father was quoted in the article as offering support and love to his son.
5. Rapp Is a Published Author Who Now Stars on Star Trek: Discovery
Anthony Rapp has many talents. He is also a published author. According to SFGate in 2006, “Recently, the Illinois-born Rapp became a first-time author, with the publication of ‘Without You: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical ‘Rent” (Simon and Schuster, 310 pages, $25). In part, the book is kind of a new generation’s ‘Act One’- pitch-perfect in its description of how a young actor finds a career-making role in a show destined to become a classic.”
Rapp plays the character of Lieutenant Paul Stamets on Star Trek: Discovery. Of the character, Rapp said:
It’s been very interesting to see how that lays out and the dynamics of it,” Rapp said. “He’s not the most adept at interpersonal relationship. So, it’s been really interesting to see the way that that’s evolved and changed over the course of the season. The other interesting this is that, this is my first time doing a regular role in a TV show. I hear murmurs about what’s coming, but it’s also wonderful to not know what’s coming and to keep discovering what twists and turns are coming my way and how my character grows and changes.
According to IMDB, Rapp has a band called AlbinoKid and his brother Adam Rapp “is a novelist and playwright; Anthony starred in Adam’s one-man show.” CBS reported that Rapp “released his debut album Look Around. He has performed his music in clubs and colleges throughout the country.