By Jill Lawless, The Associated Press
London’s Old Vic theatre said Thursday it has received 20 allegations of actions that spanned “a range of inappropriate behaviour” against Kevin Spacey, its former artistic director.
The allegations cover interactions between 1995 and 2013, and all of them deal with men. The reported incidents range from behaviour that made people feel uncomfortable to “sexually inappropriate” touching. There were no allegations of rape.
“During his tenure, The Old Vic was in a unique position of having a Hollywood star at the helm around whom existed a cult of personality,” the theatre said in a statement. “The investigation found that his stardom and status at The Old Vic may have prevented people, and in particular junior staff or young actors, from feeling that they could speak up or raise a hand for help.”
Long a leading light in theatre and film, Spacey is one of the biggest names to lose work and standing in Hollywood since The New York Times and The New Yorker detailed sexual harassment and abuse allegations against film mogul Harvey Weinstein earlier this year. The reports sparked a wave of abuse and harassment allegations to surface across the industry.
Spacey has also been fired from the Netflix TV series “House of Cards” and dropped by his talent agency and publicist.
The allegations follow an investigation that a law firm began in October at the request of the theatre, amid reports being circulated about Spacey’s behaviour while being its artistic director from 2004 to 2015.
Richard Miskella, a partner at law firm Lewis Silkin who led the investigation, said the firm invited Spacey to participate in the investigation “and he didn’t respond.”
Miskella said he found no evidence that suspicion about Spacey’s behaviour was common at the Old Vic.
“There wasn’t widespread knowledge of this,” he said.
Old Vic executive director Kate Varah said this was “a really dismaying time” for the theatre and apologized to the victims.