Kevin Spacey, who has been accused of sexual assault and faced multiple lawsuits, has reportedly been cast in an Italian crime film in which he will play a detective investigating an alleged pedophile.
According to ABC News, Spacey will costar in Franco Nero’s film L’uomo Che Disegno Dio, or The Man Who Drew God.
The plot of the film is described as "the rise and fall of a blind artist who has the extraordinary gift of making true-to-life portraits just by listening to human voices.” Spacey will reportedly play a a police investigator looking into a man (played by Nero) who cannot see and is wrongfully accused of sexually abusing children. Per The Guardian, Nero's wife, actress Vanessa Redgrave, will also star in the film as the accused man’s piano teacher.
"I'm very happy Kevin agreed to participate in my film," Nero told ABC News. "I consider him a great actor and I can't wait to start the movie." Spacey didn't immediately respond to Refinery29's request for comment, and is reportedly not publicly commenting on the casting news at all.
In October 2017, Rent actor Anthony Rapp publicly spoke out for the first time to allege that Spacey made sexual advances toward him when Rapp was just 14. Soon after, more than 20 men claimed that Spacey engaged in sexual misconduct when he was working as the artistic director at the London's Old Vic theater between 1995 and 2013, which Spacey has repeatedly denied. Spacey was dropped by his talent agency, publicist, and then apologized in a statement to Rapp, claiming he "did not remember” any such encounter. “But if I did behave then as he describes,” Spacey said, “I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior.”
More men from Los Angeles and the U.K. came forward with additional allegations of sexual misconduct in the years that followed. In October 2019, however, L.A. prosecutors dropped a sexual battery case against Spacey because the anonymous plaintiff had unexpectedly died, and in July 2020, prosecutors dropped another civil lawsuit after the 18-year-old plaintiff accusing Spacey of indecent assault in 2016 refused to testify. In September 2020, Rapp and another man formally filed lawsuits against Spacey alleging that he had sexually assaulted them when they were teenagers in the 1980s. A judge ruled on May 3 of this year however that Rapp's co-plaintiff can only proceed with the case if he reveals his identity.
Besides the initial apology Spacey made to Rapp in 2017, the actor hasn't directly addressed the various claims against him. However, he has released a few puzzling, cryptic statements that seem to allude to the news and his career. In December 2018, Spacey appeared in a YouTube video as his House of Cards character, Frank Underwood, bizarrely claiming that “some believed everything” and “have just been waiting with bated breath” to hear Spacey “confess it all.” In an August 2019 video, he read a poem about a boxer who was having a hard time regaining his past glory at an event at the National Roman Museum.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).