KEVIN SPACEY: batting for the other side

me4 The more one delves into the detail behind Kevin Spacey’s “disgrace”, the less it hangs together as a piece of character assassination. Yet again we see the double standards, agendas and hypocrisy of those who crave discord, victim status and instant judgement. The losers every time are reality and balance.

The quickest way to sum up Kevin Spacey’s image today is “paedophile predator”. As each day goes by, another self-styled victim of Spacey’s alleged awfulness comes forward to say, “Oh my Garrrd, it was just awful“; this is hardly surprising, given the nature of the profession involved here, and the normal lifestyle of gay actors, singers and dancers in New York since the 1980s. I do not doubt that there are many notches on Spacey’s bedpost: he is, after all, very famous.

Mr Spacey hasn’t helped himself by half denial, and then immediately collapsing in the face of pc fascism. His kneejerk “I’m getting help” merely made the mob hungry for more – as of course, it always does; and coming out as gay in the same statement was taken as “hiding behind homosexuality”. But as a Hollywood actor, he knows only too well how the sanctimony of celebrity hypocrites can destroy a career overnight. Indeed, his career looks comprehensively ruined to me already.

Even if it is too late, however, I would like to offer a more balanced view of the affair. If not for Spacey, then for the next poor sap misrepresented as something other than he or she is. For this is a saga about fame, victimism, narcissism, ignorance, cynical media sensationalism….and maybe not a little jealousy.

Here are some simple facts to get us started. Anal sex with a minor constitutes statutory rape, end of: it does not, I repeat not, make the older partner a paedophile. Paedophilia is the unnatural desire to have sex with pre-pubertal children.

Lest we forget, at the time of the encounter in 1986, large swathes of the Democratic Party, human rights lawyers on both sides of the Atlantic and several prominent UK Labour MPs had anyway (in their wisdom) declared paedophilia to be “merely part of the rainbow of sexual experience”. But Spacey did not have sex with “the boy”, and the kid was most emphatically not prepubertal.

Anthony Rapp (the Star Victim in this case) was sexually aware at the time of the ‘advances’ from Spacey. He was alone and unchaperoned at a Hollywood party with free-flowing drink. The age difference between the two men was twelve years.

Although Rapp’s age is described as fourteen, I’ve been told the Party allegedly occurred “between August and October” of that year. So Rapp was much closer to fifteen than fourteen.

He is gay, and very publicly so. Indeed, his only big stage hit was playing the role of a young gay in Rent….a musical examining the alternative sexual side of thespians in New York City. The cast consists almost entirely of characters described as drag queens, rent boys, lesbians, AIDS sufferers, erotic dancers, bisexuals and anarchists. Rapp was twenty when cast in the role, which shot him to fame.

But widespread fame did not follow. Since 1990, Anthony has only appeared in TV movies and episodes of TV series….with one exception: the movie version of Rent.  Before he went public about Spacey, I had never heard of him. Over the last 72 hours, I haven’t spoken to anyone who had.

Mr Rapp sees his identity primarily through his sexuality, which he dramatises as “queer rather than gay…I’ve had affairs with women, but more often with men…I’m primarily homosexual”. Whatever. Without a hit for some years, in 2001 he outed Spacey as ‘a predator’ in a magazine interview, but the publication refused to name the senior actor. In 2017, Rapp landed the role of an openly gay man on Star Trek Discovery. He is, shall we say, somewhat typecast.

There is little doubt that Anthony Rapp sees himself as a victim, but it’s hard to see why. Spacey did not rape, deprave, initiate or in any way make the 14 year-old boy “queer rather than gay”. He made a pass at a young kid, the kid said no, that’s it. Rapp says he “chose to tell the story because of the Harvey Weinstein thing”, but I see no casting couch here, nor do I see any sex-for-favours element at all. Anyway, he had already tried to tell the story earlier.

There is a suggestion here (which any “media jury” should take note of) that Rapp has been opportunist.

Either way, there is a Grand Canyon of difference between “predatory paedophile rapist” and “inappropriate behaviour”.

Once Rapp’s allegations had aired, the classic and now well-worn process of bandwagon-jumping began. The filmmaker Tony Montana says Spacey groped him in public in 2003, and the actor Roberto Cavazos claims he saw Spacey court and inappropriately touch younger male actors at the Old Vic Theatre, where the American was the artistic director from 2004 to 2015.

Here we go again: somebody being “groped in public” is not exactly unheard of in gay bars, and “younger male actors” is just downright ageism. So he courted cast members, and OK, it’s not the most ethical way for a director to behave; the bloke is gay, get over it. Nobody died.

Today’s new accuser, however, is back to laying stress on the age thing. We don’t know who he is, but we know he had already had gay sexual encounters by the time he met the 24 year-old Spacey at an actors’ workshop. The relationship, he says, was consensual – and he (not Spacey) was the giver not the receiver. They continued to meet over some time, and later on Spacey on one occasion dropped the man’s pants with a view to switching to a giver role. There was no penetration, Spacey’s partner said “no thanks” and that was it. But the “victim” calls it “attempted rape”. Good luck with that one in Court.

The anonymous accuser said this to New York Magazine:

““I have worked really hard to have a nice life and feel safe, and I’m not giving that up for him….I don’t want them to be able to find their way back to me….There was no grooming or attention like “Let’s go out for an ice cream”….Kevin said, “I want to see you, and I want you to come to my apartment.” He said he’d always been really drawn to me at the acting classes, but had stayed away because I was 12. So I’m like now that I was 14, I felt like I’d won the lottery. A little drunk with it and very delighted with the attention. I was like a cute, plump little kid who went through puberty really fast and came out the other side as somebody that grown-ups were looking at and saying was beautiful.”

Right. He doesn’t want “them” to “find their way back” to him. Who are they, and why would they want to? He doesn’t feel groomed. He admits he already had a sexual partner ten years older than him. He’s a lottery winner, delighted with the attention and thrilled that older men find him attractive.

No signs of neurotic paranoia or narcissism there, then.

Although, in our increasingly brain-leap era, everyone wants everything to be black and white, the truth is that very few events are anything other than morally grey. So many factors dictate that: our cultural obsession with fame, with analysis, with blamestorming, and self-pity; media inaccuracy, laziness, bias and cynicism; and of course, the changed cultural values.

Those values are both smeared and blurred right across the socio-political spectrum. On the Right, it’s OK to be unacountable, greedy and close to the wind. On the Left, it’s OK to be ideologically inconsistent, to tell good lies about bad people, to turn a blind eye to illegality, to continue blindly betting on the slowest carthorse in the race, and to beeeleeeve in something even if the empirical evidence against it is overwhelming.

Finally, both Left and Right embrace “science” in all its forms, but neither of them has the slightest problem “interpreting” results in a way that plays fast and free with the statistics.

Kevin Spacey is a frightened man who has displayed little or no moral courage in facing out the high priests of progressivism. But those baying for his blood this Friday are considerably more reprehensible – and dangerous – than him.

Connected: the rise and rise of Identity Distraction