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Embattled actor Kevin Spacey maintained his innocence, claiming in court on Monday that his publicist was the one who made him apologize to actor Anthony Rapp, who has accused him of sexual assault and is suing for $40 million in damages.
“I was being encouraged to apologize and I’ve learned a lesson, which is never apologize for something that you didn’t do. I regret my entire statement,” Spacey said in court in New York City, as his emotions got the better of him and he began to cry. “It’s my responsibility. I put it out there. It was really wrong. It was really bad and I’m deeply sorry. I have to own that.”
Rapp accused the Academy-Award-winning actor of making inappropriate sexual advances toward him in 1986 — when Rapp was just 14 years old — in a bombshell Buzzfeed article. Spacey responded to the accusation by publicly coming out as gay, denying any memory of the incident described by Rapp.
“If I did behave as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior,” Spacey said in a public statement — a statement that he now says was given only at the instruction of his publicist.
He explained in court that at the time, he had just felt blind-sided and he “literally didn’t know how to respond.” That was when his publicist counseled him not to come out forcefully against Rapp, saying that he ran the risk of people then accusing him of blaming the victim.
Spacey also made a number of other revelations on the stand Monday, specifically about his family life early on, when his attorney asked him to explain why he had not come out as gay earlier in his career.
“My father was a white supremacist and a neo-Nazi. It meant that my siblings and I had to listen to my father lecturing us for hours and hours and hours about his beliefs and his ideas,” Spacey explained.
He went on to say that his father had been vocal about his concern that a young Spacey might be gay because of his interest in theatre — and it was clear that he did not approve.
“Everything about what was happening in that house was something I felt I had to keep to myself and keep private and never, ever talk about to anybody,” he continued, adding, “My father would scream at me, ‘Don’t be a —.’ He would use an F-word that is very derogatory to the gay community. I won’t say it in court. As I continued in my life, I think I just — I had a degree of shame, because I wanted people to remember the characters that I played and not know too much about me.”