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Kevin Spacey offers apology after he’s accused of making advances on teen decades ago

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/File

Actor Kevin Spacey arrived for the Tony Awards earlier this year.

By Michael Paulson New York Times 

NEW YORK — Kevin Spacey, a two-time Oscar winner, apologized Sunday night for what he said “would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior” after the actor Anthony Rapp accused him of making a sexual advance on him 31 years ago, when Rapp was 14 years old.

Spacey, who has long been fiercely private about his personal life, said in a statement that he did not remember any such encounter, but added that Rapp’s accusation “has encouraged me to address other things about my life.”

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He then disclosed that he had “loved and had romantic encounters with men throughout my life, and I choose now to live as a gay man.”

The rapid cycle of accusation and apology began Sunday evening, when BuzzFeed published an article in which Rapp alleged that Spacey “was trying to get with me sexually” after a party at Spacey’s apartment in 1986. After all the other guests had left, Rapp said that Spacey, who appeared intoxicated, “picked me up like a groom picks up the bride over the threshold. But I don’t, like, squirm away initially, because I’m like, ‘What’s going on?’ And then he lays down on top of me.”

Rapp, who is best known for playing the character Mark Cohen in the original Broadway production of “Rent,” confirmed the contents of the article and said he had decided to speak out at a time when several women have accused the producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault.

“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 and hopefully make a difference, as they have done for me,” Rapp said in an e-mailed statement. “Everything I wanted to say about my experience is in that article, and I have no further comment about it at this time.”

Spacey had not responded to requests for comment from BuzzFeed. But a few hours after the article was published, he posted a statement to Twitter, saying he was “horrified” but did not remember the encounter.

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Rapp said he met Spacey in 1986 when both were performing in Broadway shows. Rapp was a child actor in a play called “Precious Sons,” while Spacey, then 26, was performing in a revival of “Long Day’s Journey Into Night.” Rapp told BuzzFeed that he met Spacey at a Broadway party that year, and that Spacey invited him to the party where the sexual advance occurred.

Erin Quill, an actress, said Rapp told her of his allegation years ago. “He told me the story in 1992 and I stand by Anthony’s account,” she said in an e-mail on Sunday night.

Spacey, now 58, is a well-known actor who hosted this year’s Tony Awards; he won his Oscars in 1996 for “The Usual Suspects” and in 2000 for “American Beauty,” as well as a Tony Award in 1991 for “Lost in Yonkers.” He currently stars as Frank Underwood on “House of Cards.”

Rapp, now 46, is currently featured on the television series “Star Trek: Discovery.”

Spacey’s decision to cite homosexuality as part of a response to an accusation that he made a sexual advance on a minor drew criticism from some on social media.