What's Happened To Kevin Spacey Since He Got Canceled

This article contains discussions of sexual assault and sexual misconduct.

Once one of the most lauded stars of his generation, Kevin Spacey's reputation has been shattered in recent years. Synonymous with taking on thoroughly creepy roles in films such as "American Beauty," for which he won the best actor Oscar, and "Se7en," it seemed that Spacey may have had a bit too much in common with the antagonists he embodied. While he was regarded as the poster boy for unconventional American character actors in his glory days, he is now associated with being one of the most prominent celebs to stand accused in the MeToo era.

If Hollywood gossip is to be believed, Spacey's cancellation was a long time coming. In 2016, a Reddit user predicted that he would have his day of reckoning amid claims that he had been sexually harassing young men for years. Of course, irreverent cartoon "Family Guy" also foreshadowed Spacey's alleged predator tendencies back in the 2000s. The actor may have wanted to generate headlines for his acting expertise, but times have changed, and now "Kevin Spacey" is a hashtag for all the wrong reasons.

Since being canceled, he has attempted to discredit his accusers and divert the blame for his alleged crimes. All the while, he's faced huge backlash, but also has some truly surprising defenders. And in a Keyser Soze-level twist, there is the disconcerting matter that a few of his accusers have wound up dead, leading to further legal ramifications. Here's what's happened to Kevin Spacey since he got canceled.

Kevin Spacey's controversial coming out

Following Anthony Rapp's claim that Kevin Spacey attempted to assault him when he was just 14, the Oscar-winner decided to come out as gay, causing further backlash. Spacey claimed that he couldn't remember the incident when he tweeted, "...if I did behave as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior..." The actor then declared that he was gay. Many saw the coming out as a diversionary tactic to draw attention away from the serious allegations he was facing.

Gay actor Zachary Quinto condemned Spacey's coming out as "deeply sad and troubling." In a powerful tweet, the "Star Trek" star highlighted that Spacey didn't come out due to pride or an expression of solidarity with the LGBTQ community. "[B]ut as a calculated manipulation to deflect attention from the very serious accusation that he attempted to molest [a gay person]," Quinto explained. Former "Great British Baking Show" host Sue Perkins also tweeted her disgust at Spacey's tactics, arguing that he was conflating his sexuality with child abuse. As comedian Alex Brooker noted on British show "The Last Leg," "I think that's the first time I've ever known someone to come out and the gay community go, 'No, no, no... Go back in.'"

Meanwhile, Vox argued that Spacey was fueling dangerous myths that the LGBTQ community spent decades debunking. As the outlet points out, right-wing groups had long propagated the fallacy that same-sex love is linked to pedophilia and predatory behavior. Moreover, Spacey failed to ever take accountability for his alleged actions against Rapp.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

After being canceled, he entered sex rehab

As reported by the Daily Mail, Kevin Spacey entered a 45-day sexual addiction program in 2017. The Arizona facility, which costs a whopping $37,000 a month, is focused on mindfulness and relaxation as a means of helping those struggling with sex addiction. His rep said that the actor "is taking the time necessary to seek evaluation and treatment."

According to TheWrap, disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein entered the same facility, and questions have been raised as to the center's legitimacy. Many were skeptical that the rehab clinic's focus on relaxation techniques, such as horseback riding and meditation, would lead to the recovery of alleged predators such as Spacey, or, in the case of Weinstein, convicted sex offenders. However, an investigation by the outlet concludes that the facility is a legitimate rehabilitation center.

Nevertheless, USA Today highlighted the controversy surrounding the term "sex addiction," namely, that sex addiction had been conflated with sexual abuse in Spacey's case. For instance, it is rare for addicts to prey on potential sexual partners. "(Sex addicts) rarely engage in sex without consent or with coercion; they're using sex as a self-soothing mechanism in the way other people use drugs or binge eat," psychologist Debra Borys explained. "A sexual predator gets aroused from the domination and the power and seeing the fear or humiliation; they're not considered a sex addict." The outlet also notes that many predators may hide under the guise of addiction to justify their abusive tactics.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Anthony Rapp began legal proceedings in 2020

Kevin Spacey's cancellation began with Anthony Rapp opening up about his problematic experience with the actor. In 2017, Rapp told BuzzFeed News that Spacey assaulted him at a party in 1986. At the time, Rapp was just 14, whereas Spacey was 26. The younger actor said he was compelled to speak out after witnessing Spacey's meteoric rise to fame, feeling disgusted by the adulation the A-lister was receiving. "At that time, I wanted to scream to the rooftops, 'This guy is a fraud!'" he said. In 2020, the Los Angeles Times reported that Rapp and another man only known as C.D., who alleged that Spacey assaulted him as a teenager, were suing the actor for sexual assault.

In court documents obtained by Rolling Stone, Spacey claimed that Rapp's accusations were not "serious enough" (as the outlet summarized) to merit legal proceedings. Subsequently, Rapp's team accused Spacey of presenting a "sanitized" version of events. As the outlet notes, Spacey's insistence that Rapp's claims are untrue is incongruent with his initial twitter message in which he claimed that he simply couldn't recall Rapp's version of events, but offered his sympathies if his actions were perceived in a negative light.

Per Radar, Spacey also attempted to block the testimony of Justin Dawes, who was to corroborate Rapp's story by recalling a similar experience in which the "American Beauty" star allegedly came on to him when he was 16. However, in another blow to the actor's case, the judge ruled against Spacey and ordered that Dawes testify.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Following assault claims, the actor was exposed as an alleged racist

Following Anthony Rapp's claims, Kevin Spacey was fired from his signature role in "House of Cards." The decision was buttressed by multiple claims of on-set sexual harassment. Those who worked on the show contended that the erstwhile Frank Underwood cultivated a toxic work environment. Per CNN, numerous "House of Cards" employees accused Spacey of sexual misconduct, including a crew member who said he was harassed on a regular basis and a production assistant who claimed that Spacey molested him on set.

Now it has been revealed that this toxic environment apparently consisted of both sexual and racial abuse. In 2018, a year after he was fired from "House of Cards," security guards who worked on the series accused Spacey of uttering racial slurs and subjugating Black people. Earl Blue, a security guard, recounted Spacey's alleged racism in an interview with the Daily Mail, claiming that the actor used the n word and said he didn't want any Black people on set. 

After recalling the ordeal to those in more powerful positions on the show, Blue was merely told, "That's just the way he is; we've got to keep him happy." Reflecting on the traumatic experience, Blue told the outlet, "I was a tremendous fan of the man but now I am disgusted by him. ... I was just dealing with a racist man." Accordingly, he planned to sue Spacey in yet another lawsuit added to the actor's increasingly lengthy legal troubles.

If you or a loved one has experienced a hate crime, contact the VictimConnect Hotline by phone at 1-855-4-VICTIM or by chat for more information or assistance in locating services to help. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call 911.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Kevin Spacey's charity got shut down

In the U.K., where Kevin Spacey made his home for many years, he started a charity. The Kevin Spacey Foundation was founded in 2008 as a means of helping young people looking to embark on a career in the arts. At the time, Spacey was creative director of the Old Vic Theater and was involved in various projects aimed at aiding young creatives. Thus, the initial goal of Spacey's Foundation was to "identify emerging artists who have a unique voice and artistic vision and give them the training and resources they need to fully express themselves," per The Sydney Morning Herald

However, following Spacey's public fallout, the charity was forced to shut down after 10 years in operation. Per Variety, an investigation was being launched into any abuses of power that may have occurred while Spacey was on the board of trustees. Of particular concern was the fact that the charity worked closely with young people at London's Regent University, where students completed their courses before sordid allegations about the A-lister came to light.

In the wake of troubling allegations against its founder, a statement read, "The Trustees have reached the conclusion that the work of the Kevin Spacey Foundation U.K. is no longer viable..." (via Variety). The fate of operations in the U.S. is unknown. Considering his passionate commitment to the arts, this was a particular setback to Spacey's reputation as a champion of theater who, according to The Guardian, "breathe[d] new life into the Old Vic."

His agents dropped him and his awards were rescinded

In the aftermath of damning revelations, there was a miasma surrounding the name "Kevin Spacey," an actor who was revered for so many years for his roles in films such as "The Usual Suspects." It seemed ironic, then, that one of Spacey's most famous roles, as the enigmatic Keyser Soze, drew parallels with his own apparent binate persona. Accordingly, many struggled to reconcile the seemingly dual Spaceys: the highly regarded actor and the alleged abuser.

With his reputation in tatters, Spacey's agency of 8 years, as well as his longtime publicist Staci Wolfe, dropped him following the allegations, per Variety. Moreover, his special Emmy plaudit was revoked. Spacey was set to be given the Emmy Founders Award for his contributions to the arts by the International TV Academy in 2017. In what may now be regarded as a somewhat sinister exaltation, the Academy described Spacey as "an individual who crosses cultural boundaries to touch humanity" when initially bestowing the award months earlier, per People.

The recall was yet another knock to his already faltering career and formerly pristine public persona. Also around this time, his part in "All the Money in the World" was recast and entirely re-filmed with Christopher Plummer in the role of John Paul Getty Sr., per BBC News. Plummer was ultimately nominated for an Oscar for his performance, an honor that could very well have gone to Spacey had he not been exposed as an alleged abuser.

His Gore Vidal biopic got canceled

Kevin Spacey's career was going downhill by the late 2010s, but he was afforded a reprieve in the form of his soon-to-be released Gore Vidal biopic, cast as the eponymous enigmatic writer. But if getting re-cast in "All the Money in the World" wasn't a big enough blow, then having the entire "Gore" project scrapped after completion was a knockout. Filming had wrapped on the biopic in 2017, but Netflix decided to abandon it entirely. Per BuzzFeed News, just three weeks after the movie was completed, Anthony Rapp accused Spacey of sexual assault, followed by several other men.

And there was also the matter of art imitating life. Having obtained the script for "Gore," BuzzFeed noted that the titular character appeared obsessed with sex with boys. Indeed, much of the film is centered on Vidal's attempts to seduce Jamie, a fan decades younger than the author. Accordingly, the script features scenes that appear eerily analogous to the accusations Spacey faces. Namely, Vidal is shown abusing his position of power.

Netflix lost $39 million by cutting ties with Spacey. Thereafter, Michael Stuhlbarg, his "Gore" co-star, expressed his disappointment that the project was scrapped, though he acknowledged why it was necessary to do so. "When you work hard on something, you want people to see it," he lamented to The Hollywood Reporter. As BuzzFeed argued, by this point, "The damage to his career seems complete, if not irreversible." Indeed, the Kevin Spacey downward spiral showed no signs of slowing.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Mounting accusations amid surprising deaths

Since he was canceled, 30 people have come forward to accuse Kevin Spacey of abuse, per Vox. The Old Vic, where Spacey was creative director until 2013, allegedly provided the actor with opportunities to prey on young male actors "routinely," per The Sydney Morning Herald. As reported by Sky News, 20 people involved in the theater made allegations of misconduct. Subsequently, the Old Vic issued an apology to the accusers: "During his tenure, the Old Vic was in a unique position of having a Hollywood star at the helm around whom existed a cult of personality," the theater conceded.

The allegations didn't stop there. Former news anchor Heather Unruh accused the actor of groping her teen son and took him to court, though her son eventually dropped the case in 2019, per CNN.

In a bizarre twist, three of Spacey's accusers have died since making allegations, though the deaths don't appear to be connected. Norwegian writer Ari Behn, who accused Spacey of groping him in 2017, died two years later by suicide, per the AP. Then, nursing assistant Linda Culkin claimed Spacey was harassing young men; she sent him bomb threats and death threats and was killed after being struck by a car. In 2019, the Los Angeles Times reported that after an anonymous massage therapist accused Spacey of sexual assault, he died before the trial commenced (reportedly of cancer). Per People, there were rumors that Spacey had paid money to the deceased's family to settle the lawsuit. However, the actor's reps deny this.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Despite the backlash, Kevin Spacey still has his defenders

He may have been canceled, but as with many controversial celebs, Kevin Spacey has his defenders, and some high-profile ones at that. The late Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci said Spacey was welcome to work with him at any time. Per The Guardian, Bertolucci appeared at a restoration event for his controversial 1972 film "Last Tango in Paris," and said, "When I learned that Ridley Scott had agreed to eliminate the scenes of 'All the Money in the World' in which Kevin Spacey was playing, I sent a message to editor Peter Scalia to tell Scott that he should be ashamed. And then I immediately wanted to make a film with Spacey."

Paul Schrader, who is famed as the screenwriter of "Taxi Driver," argued in a bizarre since-deleted Facebook post (via IndieWire) that Spacey should be free to work as an actor despite the allegations against him. "I believe there are crimes in life but no crimes in art," Schrader wrote. "Spacey should be punished for any crimes his actual person created. But not for art. All art is a crime. Punishing him as an artist only diminishes art." If that wasn't confusing enough, Spacey also found some defenders in high-class places.

Dame Judi Dench, the actor's longtime friend, has come to his defense, as well as that of disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein. "Are we going to negate 10 years at the Old Vic and everything that he did [as artistic director] — how wonderful he's been in all those films?" she asked Radio Times (via Page Six).

Those bizarre YouTube videos

Celebrities often use YouTube as a means of staying in the public spotlight. Will Smith, for instance, has maintained his profile (The Slap notwithstanding) in the Gen-Z era via his highly popular YouTube channel. Kevin Spacey, however, utilized social media at a time when many thought he'd be keeping a low profile.

In 2018, Spacey posted a peculiar video, entitled "Let Me Be Frank," in which he discussed being fired from "House of Cards." Not only did he address the controversy, but he did so while in character as Frank Underwood. "Of course some believed everything and have just been waiting with baited breath to hear me confess it all," he menacingly said in character. "They're just dying to have me declare that everything said is true and that I got what I deserved." The off-putting video led to widespread bewilderment from his peers and the public alike. The Atlantic suggested that the monologue was designed as a showcase for his acting expertise, a ploy that ultimately worked since a large portion of the tens of thousands of comments featured fans lauding his onscreen charisma.

A year later, Spacey posted a second Christmas video as Underwood, entitled "KTWK," in which he rather sinisterly warned, "You can kill them with kindness." He appeared again in 2020, seemingly oblivious to the backlash surrounding him. The latter video addressed the Covid-19 pandemic and urged those struggling to seek help, which many deemed hypocritical, considering the alleged damage he'd caused to young men's lives.

A career revival in Italy

In 2021, Kevin Spacey scored his first ever film role since he was canceled. Directed by the original Django, Franco Nero, "The Man Who Drew God" sees the director as the star, an artist being investigated, while Spacey plays the cop examining the case. Nero told ABC News that he was elated to have Spacey on board. "I consider him a great actor and I can't wait to start the movie," he enthused. Nero also explained to Entertainment Weekly that the accusations against the film's A-list star didn't concern him; rather, he was excited to begin working with Spacey. But many didn't share his enthusiasm.

News of Spacey's comeback led to outrage and disappointment. It was seen as an affront to his many alleged victims, seeing as the actor hadn't expressed any public atonement for his apparent problematic actions. "In most other similar circumstances in society, there's an element of contrition required before you reintegrate. That hasn't existed at all," one of his accusers told Variety. "Instead, what we've had is bloody creepy Christmas messages every year." Following the public outcry, Nero's wife, British acting legend Vanessa Redgrave, left the project, per The Guardian.

Spacey then scored a lead role in "Peter Five Eight" in 2022. Rolling Stone highlighted that this comeback followed a number of canceled actors seeking career revivals at Cannes, including James Franco and Alec Baldwin. The film's producer, Michael Hall, told the publication that Spacey's talents outweighed the controversy surrounding him.

Kevin Spacey has been charged with sexual assault

Many high-profile celebs accused of sex crimes have had their days of reckoning. From Harvey Weinstein to Ghislaine Maxwell, it appears as though the individuals who got away with abuse for decades are being held accountable, and victims' voices are finally being heard.

In 2022, officials in the U.K. charged Spacey with "four counts of sexual assault against three men," as well as an additional charge of nonconsensual sexual activity, following a lengthy investigation by the Metropolitan Police. As reported by The Washington Post, the alleged incidents are said to have occurred between 2005 and 2013. In a statement to Good Morning America, the actor said he appreciated fairness and an assumption of innocence, and he would comply with the Crown Prosecution Service: "I will voluntarily appear in the U.K. as soon as can be arranged and defend myself against these charges, which I am confident will prove my innocence." 

Despite the seriousness of the charges, the producers of his comeback flick, "Peter Five Eight," said that they fully support Spacey. "While it's unfortunate that increased negative press is timed with Kevin returning to work, it's also to be expected," the producers said in a statement, per Deadline. "There are those who wish for him not to act, but they are outnumbered by fans worldwide..." Spacey's accusers, however, would disagree.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).