It’s a “House of Cards” shocker as eight former or current crew members say Spacey made the work environment “toxic” for young men. They accuse Spacey of sexual assault, repeated harassment and generally “predatory” behavior.
After an inquiry from CNN, Netflix and the show’s production company, Media Rights Capital (MRC), also confirmed that Spacey was disciplined for sexual harassment earlier in the show’s run. They claim they were unaware of any further allegations about Spacey’s behavior.
According to his publicist, Spacey is taking a break from acting to seek unspecified treatment on the heels of multiple accusations of sexual assault and misconduct. Out actor Anthony Rapp was the first to accuse Spacey of sexual assault, but was soon joined by other actors and young men who had been in contact with Spacey.
Spacey acknowledged Rapp’s accusation and exploited the statement to come out of the closet as gay, but has not addressed any of the further allegations. Netflix quickly announced that they would end “House of Cards” after the upcoming season currently in production, saying the decision had been made before the scandal hit. But as corporate staff met with cast and crew and accusations piled up they stopped production altogether.
Now CNN reports that multiple cast members have confirmed to the network that they were harassed repeatedly by Spacey on the set of House of Cards and one specifically says that he was sexually assaulted. All of the accusers were given anonymity by CNN who confirmed all of the accusations with other witnesses.
The former production assistant told CNN that while he was driving Spacey to the set one day, Spacey stuck his hand down the young man’s pants. He also alleges that Spacey cornered him in the star’s trailer after he helped him carry luggage from the car.
“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. I told him, ‘I don’t think I’m ok with this, I don’t think I’m comfortable with this’.”
He says that the assault came months after he complained that Spacey was sexually harassing him.
“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,” he said. “It was a toxic environment for young men who had to interact with him at all in the crew, cast, background actors.”
Other crew members described a workplace full of sexual innuendo, unwanted touching, and crude comments.
“He would put his hands on me in weird ways,” one crew member told CNN. “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.”
“Netflix was just made aware of one incident, five years ago, that we were informed was resolved swiftly,” the corporation said in a statement. “On Tuesday, in collaboration with 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 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,” a MRC statement said. “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.”
“All the crew members commented on his behavior,” a former camera assistant told the network. “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?” he said. “You’re going to get fired.”