Kevin Spacey has been accused of sexually harassing staff on ‘House of Cards’.
The 58-year-old actor – who is seeking treatment after being accused of sexual misconduct by a number of men – is said to have made the set of the Netflix show a “toxic” environment because of his “predatory” behavior, which allegedly incused crude comments and nonconsensual touching.
A former production assistant on the political drama claims the award-winning star sexually assaulted him in a car traveling to set from an offsite location. The unnamed staff member alleged Spacey, who was driving, put his hands down his pants when they were just a few minutes away from the base.
He told CNN: “I was in a state of shock. 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.”
The assistant helped the actor take his belongings to his trailer, and claims Spacey then cornered him and made inappropriate contact after blocking the exit. The man said: “I told him, ‘I don’t think I’m ok with this, I don’t think I’m comfortable with this.” Spacey allegedly became “visibly flustered,” and ran back to his car, leaving the set for the rest of the day.
The production assistant – who didn’t report the alleged incident but confided in a colleague – claimed he had previously complained to a supervisor about being sexually harassed and so it was arranged he would never be alone with the actor, but the alleged harassment stopped for long enough for him to feel comfortable with him again.
He said: “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. “It was a toxic environment for young men who had to interact with him at all in the crew, cast, background actors.”
Seven other people who the network spoke to agreed the ‘American Beauty’ made life on the set of ‘House of Cards’ difficult.
One crew member, who has worked on the show – which has suspended production indefinitely in light of allegations against its lead star – claimed he was regularly touched inappropriately by Spacey but didn’t “feel comfortable” asking him to stop. He said: “He would put his hands on me in weird ways. He would come in and massage my shoulders from behind or put his hands around me or touch my stomach sometimes in weird ways that in normal everyday conversation would not be appropriate. “That’s the worst part about this whole thing. I would love to be able to speak out about this kind of stuff and not fear.”
And a former camera assistant claimed Spacey made no attempts to hide his advances and “everybody saw” him touching people inappropriately. They said: “All the crew members commented on his behavior. What gets me is we have to sign sexual harassment paperwork before the start of the show and apparently [Kevin Spacey] doesn’t have to do anything and he gets away scott-free with this behavior… “Who is going to believe crew members? You’re going to get fired.”
Another ex-crew member said: “There was one instance [when] a grip bent over to pick something up and his ass crack was showing, and Kevin Spacey made a sexual comment about it.”
Netflix insisted they are working with production company MRC to “maintain a safe and respectful working environment”. They added: “We continue to collaborate with MRC and other production partners too. 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.”
And MRC is “deeply troubled” by the allegations and have implemented “an anonymous complaint hotline, crisis counselors, and sexual harassment legal advisors for the crew”.
They will continue to investigate all claims brought to their attention.