Eight people who either currently work or previously worked on House of Cards have come forward with allegations that Kevin Spacey made the show’s set a “toxic” work environment through a pattern of sexual harassment, with at least one employee accusing Spacey of sexually assaulting him.
CNN reported Thursday that all eight people spoke with the network on the condition of anonymity. One of the eight, a former production assistant, told CNN that Spacey sexually assaulted him during one of the show’s earlier seasons. All eight people said that Spacey’s “predatory” behavior included nonconsensual touching and crude comments. Spacey is also accused of targeting production staffers who are “typically young and male.”
Thursday’s accusations follow another one made Sunday by Star Trek: Discovery star Anthony Rapp, who said that Spacey made unwanted sexual advances toward him in 1986 when he was 14 and Spacey was 26.
Following Rapp’s stunning disclosure, Spacey issued a somewhat backward apology on Twitter in which he took no responsibility or accountability for the incident and instead obfuscated someone’s pain with a weird statement in which he outed himself as a gay man.
Subsequently, Netflix announced Monday that the sixth season of the Spacey-driven drama House of Cards would be its last.
Production on the show was then halted indefinitely Tuesday morning as the network and show’s producers took “time to review the current situation and to address any concerns of our cast and crew.”
On Wednesday, a publicist for Spacey said that the actor was seeking “treatment” following Rapp’s allegations.
According to CNN, the former production assistant said that he and Spacey were in a car—which Spacey was driving—heading to the set, and that while the car was still moving, Spacey put his hand down the assistant’s pants. The assistant said the touching was nonconsensual.
“I was in a state of shock,” the production assistant said. “He was a man in a very powerful position on the show, and I was someone very low on the totem pole and on the food chain there.”
Once they arrived on the set, the production assistant helped Spacey carry his belongings from the car to his trailer on the set. Inside the trailer, the production assistant said, Spacey cornered him, blocked his exit and once again made inappropriate contact.
The production assistant told CNN, “I told him, ‘I don’t think I’m OK with this, I don’t think I’m comfortable with this.’” That’s when, he said, the actor became “visibly flustered,” fled the trailer, got in his car and left for the remainder of the day.
The P.A. did not report the incident to police or anyone at the show. He did, however, tell a co-worker, and that co-worker corroborated the story to CNN.
The P.A. told CNN that that particular alleged assault came months after he had complained to a supervisor that Spacey was sexually harassing him. The supervisor’s solution was to keep the P.A. from ever being alone with Spacey while they were on the set.
The harassment stopped for a time, and the P.A. then felt comfortable driving with Spacey to the set again.
“I have no doubt that this type of predatory behavior was routine for him and that my experience was one of many and that Kevin had few if any qualms about exploiting his status and position,” the production assistant said. “It was a toxic environment for young men who had to interact with him at all in the crew, cast, background actors.”
In a statement to CNN, Netflix said:
Netflix was just made aware of one incident, five years ago, that we were informed was resolved swiftly. On Tuesday, in collaboration with [production company] MRC, we suspended production, knowing that Kevin Spacey wasn’t scheduled to work until Wednesday. Netflix is not aware of any other incidents involving Kevin Spacey on-set. We continue to collaborate with MRC and other production partners to maintain a safe and respectful working environment. We will continue to work with MRC during this hiatus time to evaluate our path forward as it relates to the production, and have nothing further to share at this time.
MRC said in a separate statement:
We are deeply troubled to learn about these new allegations that are being made to the press concerning Kevin Spacey’s interaction with members of the crew of House of Cards. As the producer of the show, creating and maintaining a safe working environment for our cast and crew has always been our top priority. We have consistently reinforced the importance of employees reporting any incident without fear of retaliation and we have investigated and taken appropriate actions following any complaints. For example, during our first year of production in 2012, someone on the crew shared a complaint about a specific remark and gesture made by Kevin Spacey. Immediate action was taken following our review of the situation and we are confident the issue was resolved promptly to the satisfaction of all involved. Mr. Spacey willingly participated in a training process and since that time MRC has not been made aware of any other complaints involving Mr. Spacey.
The Hollywood Reporter reports that MRC has set up an anonymous complaint line, crisis counselors and sexual harassment legal advisers for the crew in the wake of the accusations made against Spacey.
“MRC will continue to thoroughly investigate all current claims and any new claims that are formally brought to our attention, and will continue to monitor our own production and practices to ensure that our cast and crew feel safe and supported,” the company said in its statement.