SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) – Actor Kevin Spacey is the latest high profile figure in Hollywood to face allegations of sex abuse.
In this case, the accuser, Anthony Rapp, is also an actor.
Rapp says the incident took place when he was fourteen years old and Spacey was 26.
Many in the LGBTQ community in the Bay Area are expressing outrage at Spacey’s response: coming out as a gay man following the allegation.
“For him to conflate coming out with molesting this kid, I take major issue with it. I’m very embarrassed,” said Joseph Mills of San Francisco, who says he’s gay.
Spacey, a two- time Oscar winning actor, is accused of making sexual advances towards the then 14-year-old Rapp in 1986.
Spacey responded in a tweet that said he was sorry, but he stopped short of admitting wrongdoing,
His statement said in part, “I honestly do no remember the encounter, it would have been over 30 years ago. But if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology.”
Spacey goes on to say he chose to live as a gay man.
“You have these Christians out here who say all gay men are out to molest young children and that’s not true at all. It disgusts me, He’s taken away years of progress,” said Mills.
Ashleigh Reddy of San Francisco who anticipates fallout on the LGBTQ community, expects there to be a negative impact that spreads nationwide.
Rapp, the actor making the allegation, said in a tweet, “I came forward with my story, standing on the shoulders of the many courageous women and men who have been speaking out, to shine a light.”
Jenny Pearlman with Safe & Sound, a nonprofit that works to prevent child abuse, discloses how difficult it is to come forward with such sensitive encounters and adds there are multiple reasons why one might avoid coming forward.
“There’s so much shame and stigma about sexual abuse and sexual assault that now, this opening up is really giving room for us to come together as a community and work to protect kids,” says Pearlman.
Joe Hawkins, co-founder of Oakland LGBTQ Community Center says awareness is key, “The more you identify the harassers, the more reluctant people will be to harass. I think that is the most powerful thing.”
Spacey has a potential Oscar-worthy film coming out in December. What impact this scandal has remains to be seen.
Below are agencies that people can report child abuse to:
Child Abuse Prevention Council
San Francisco County – 415-668-0494
Alameda County – 510-259-1800
Contra Costa County – 877-881-1116
Marin County – 415-473-7153
Napa County – 707-253-4261
San Mateo County – 650-802-7922
Santa Clara County/San Jose – 408-299-2071
Gilroy/Morgan Hill – 408-683-0601
Palo Alto – 650-493-1186
Solano County – 800-544-8696
Sonoma County – 707-565-4304