Takei Responds to Spacey’s Statement on Assault

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Actor and activist George Takei is critical of “House of Cards” star Kevin Spacey’s coming out as gay in response to allegations of sexual assault.

Actor Anthony Rapp recently alleged that the unwanted sexual advance happened in 1986 when Rapp was 14 and Spacey was 26. They were performing in separate Broadway plays at the time.

According to Rapp, who plays Lt. Paul Stamets on “Star Trek: Discovery,” after a party at Spacey’s apartment, Spacey picked Rapp up, placed him on a bed and climbed on top of him. Rapp said he was able to get away and never spoke to Spacey again.

Rapp said he felt compelled to break his silence after numerous accusations of harassment and assault involving movie mogul Harvey Weinstein went public.

In response, Spacey said in a tweet on Oct. 29: “I have a lot of respect and admiration for Anthony Rapp as an actor. I’m beyond horrified to hear his story. I honestly do not 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 for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior, and I am sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him all these years.

“This story has encouraged me to address other things about my life. I know that there are stories out there about me and that some have been fueled by the fact that I have been so protective of my privacy. As those closest to me know, I have had relationships with both men and women. I have loved and had romantic encounters with men throughout my life, and I choose now to live as a gay man. I want to deal with this honestly and openly and that starts with examining my own behavior.”

Takei, best known for playing Sulu on the original “Star Trek” series, told **The Hollywood Reporter** on Oct. 30, “When power is used in a non-consensual situation, it is a wrong. For Anthony Rapp, he has had to live with the memory of this experience of decades ago. For Kevin Spacey, who claims not to remember the incident, he was the older, dominant one who had his way. Men who improperly harass or assault do not do so because they are gay or straight — that is a deflection. They do so because they have the power, and they chose to abuse it.”

Prompted by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s veto of legislation recognizing same-sex marriage, Takei came out publicly in a magazine interview in 2005, though many people close to him were already aware of his sexual orientation. He has been an outspoken advocate for LGBT rights ever since.

Zachary Quinto, who played Spock in the last three “Star Trek” movies, is also among the actors who have criticized Spacey’s statement.

“It is deeply sad and troubling that this is how Kevin Spacey has chosen to come out,” Quinto, who came out publicly in 2011, said via Twitter. “Not by standing up as a point of pride — in the light of all his many awards and accomplishments. thus inspiring tens of thousands of struggling LGBTQ kids around the world [—] but as a calculated manipulation to deflect attention from the very serious accusation that he attempted to molest one.

“I am sorry to hear of Anthony Rapp’s experience and subsequent suffering. And I am sorry that Kevin only saw fir to acknowledge his truth when he thought it would seve him — just as denial served him for so many years. May Anthony Rapp’s voice be the one which is amplified here. Victims’ voices are the ones that deserve to be heard.”

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