Several 'House of Cards' employees allege Kevin Spacey made environment 'toxic'

ANI | Updated: Nov 03, 2017 08:23 IST

New York [U.S.A.], November 3 (ANI): Eight people, who currently work on the show or have worked on it in the past, have said that Kevin Spacey made the set of Netflix's "House of Cards" into a "toxic" work environment through a pattern of sexual harassment.

A former production assistant in the crew has told CNN that Spacey sexually assaulted him during one of the show's early seasons.

The eight people have described Spacey's behaviour as "predatory," saying it included nonconsensual touching and crude comments and targetted production staffers who were typically young and male.

These accusations follow an article published less than a week ago, in which actor Anthony Rapp said Spacey made sexual advances toward him in 1985, when Rapp was 14 years old.

Following this, on Monday, Spacey released an apology in response to Rapp's account.

"I honestly do not remember the encounter; it would have been over 30 years ago," Spacey said.

"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."

Production of the show's Season 6 was shut down this week.

CNN reports that the former production assistant said Spacey sexually assaulted him one afternoon when the assistant was assigned to drive to an offsite location to pick up Spacey and bring him to the "House of Cards" set, which is located about 30 miles outside of Baltimore.

When he and Spacey were just minutes away from the set and while the car was moving, Spacey, who was driving, put his hands down the production assistant's pants. The production assistant told CNN that the touching was nonconsensual.

The production assistant did not report the incident to any managers of the series or the police, but he did tell a coworker at the time. CNN has spoken to the coworker to corroborate the production assistant's story.

The other people who worked on "House of Cards" with whom CNN spoke all supported the idea that the set could be toxic for young men because of Spacey.

MRC, the production company behind "House of Cards," told CNN in a separate statement that they have implemented "an anonymous complaint hotline, crisis counsellors, and sexual harassment legal advisors for the crew."

"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," CNN quoted the MRC statement.

The allegations about Spacey also come as the entertainment world is reckoning with fallout from the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal.

Many women have accused him of sexual harassment and police are investigating the assault claims. Weinstein has apologised for his behaviour, but he denies all allegations of nonconsensual sex. (ANI)

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