Kevin Spacey compares his career spiral to coronavirus layoffs

Kevin Spacey has compared the sudden downfall of his career, which came after numerous sexual assault allegations were leveled against him, to the experience of job loss due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a video recorded in April from his home for a German business conference called Bits & Pretzels, Spacey said: “I don’t often like to tell people that I can relate to their situation because I think it undermines the experience that they may be having, which is their own unique and very personal experience. But in this instance, I feel as though I can relate to what it feels like to have your world suddenly stop.”

“My world completely changed in the fall of 2017. My job, many of my relationships, my standing in my own industry were all gone in just a matter of hours,” Spacey said, referring to the 2017 allegations from actor Anthony Rapp who accused Spacey of making inappropriate sexual advances toward him in 1986.

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“And so while we may have found ourselves in similar situations albeit for very different reasons and circumstances, I still feel that some of the emotional struggles are very much the same,” Spacey said.

“And so I do have empathy for what it feels like to suddenly be told that you can’t go back to work, or that you might lose your job, and it’s a situation you have absolutely no control over,” the 60-year-old actor continued.

Spacey went on to compare his career to driving a car, “When the car finally stops, either through success or through failure, we may have no idea where we are.”

He continued, “Or even worse, we may have no idea who we are. And that’s exactly what happened to me.”

“I was so busy defining myself by what I did or what I was trying to do that when it all stopped, I had no idea what to do next because all I ever knew was how to act,” Spacey said, before adding, “When my career came to a grinding, screeching halt when I was faced with the uncertainty that I might never be hired as an actor again, I had asked myself a question I’d never asked myself before, which is: If I can’t act, who am I?”

The House of Cards actor said he hoped he could encourage people to “see an opportunity in all of this and turn it into a positive.”

“As bleak and horrible as things can be and look, as they did for me two years ago, and it might look for you right now, it will get better,” Spacey said. “This is a process that has allowed me to ask other questions I never asked, have conversations I’d never had, delve into issues I’ve long avoided, face truths I kept hidden and confront traumas I had always denied.”

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In 2017, Spacey said he was “beyond horrified” by allegations that he made sexual advances on a teen boy decades ago.

The two-time Oscar winner posted on Twitter that he doesn’t remember the encounter.

“But if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behaviour, and I am sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him all these years,” he said.

In a 2017 interview with BuzzFeed, Rapp, known for roles on Star Trek: Discovery and Dazed and Confused, said Spacey befriended him while they both performed on Broadway shows.

Rapp was 14 when he attended a party at Spacey’s apartment in 1986, he said. At the end of the night, an inebriated Spacey picked him up, placed him on his bed, and climbed on top of him, Rapp said.

Rapp said the 26-year-old Spacey was holding him down tightly, but he was able to get away and left the apartment.

Rapp said he came forward after allegations against Harvey Weinstein sparked conversations about sexual abuse and harassment in the entertainment industry.

Spacey, who is now 60, also spoke publicly about his sexual orientation for the first time in 2017 when addressing Rapp’s allegations.

“As those closest to me know, in my life I have had relationships with both men and women,” he said. “I have loved and had romantic encounters with men throughout my life, and I choose now to live as a gay man.”

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Spacey has been accused of sexually assaulting and harassing multiple men, including teenagers, since the 2017 allegations surfaced.

Massachusetts prosecutors in July 2019  dropped a criminal case against Spacey filed after accusations that he groped an 18-year-old man at a bar on the resort island of Nantucket in 2016.

In that case, Spacey’s accuser invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to testify about text messages from the night of the alleged groping that the defence claimed were deleted.

Police in London are also investigating allegations of sexual misconduct by Spacey, but there’s been no public update on that inquiry.

—With files from The Associated Press

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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