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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Kevin E G Perry

Kevin Spacey breaks down in tears as he tells Piers Morgan about allegations, Epstein and being broke

Piers Morgan Uncensored

Kevin Spacey’s lengthy, wide-ranging interview with Piers Morgan lived up to the controversial talk show host’s hype: It was astounding.

Over 90 minutes, the two-time Oscar winner opened up about his fall from grace amid multiple sexual assault accusations as well as his feelings about beating those allegations in both criminal and civil court cases.

He also recalled flying on Jeffrey Epstein’s jet with the deceased paedophile, President Bill Clinton, and a group of “young girls”, thanked both Elton John and King Charles III for their support, and revealed that he is being forced to sell his home due to legal bills that have left him “many millions” of dollars in debt.

Morgan opened the interview with a simple question: “How are you?”

“I’m alright, thank you for asking,” replied the actor, who was last year acquitted of a number of sexual offences alleged by four men in the UK to have taken place between 2001 and 2013.

“It's been a very interesting and, I think, an important couple of weeks where I've had an opportunity to start to be able to talk about things that, well, for me, in some cases I've never talked about before, and to take accountability for those places where I have behaved badly, and to hopefully put some facts out there that maybe a great majority of the public don't know about,” added Spacey.

Kevin Spacey describes past behaviour as 'handsy' during interview with Piers Morgan

Later, Morgan pressed him on exactly what he meant by the catch-all phrase “behaved badly”. Spacey replied: “Pushing the boundaries. Being too handsy. Touching someone sexually in a way that that I didn’t know at the time they didn’t want.”

When Morgan pointed out that some people would consider this to be groping, and criminal behaviour, Spacey defended himself by saying he didn’t like the word “groped”.

“I agree that the word ‘grope’ is a very odd word,” he said. “I personally... I have caressed people, I have been gentle with people. That is the way that I am. You’re making a pass at someone. You don’t want to be aggressive. You want to be gentle. You want to see if they’re going to respond positively. So I think the word itself is not a word that I associate with my experience.”

As to whether these experiences were rejected at the time by the objects of his affection, Spacey replied that if they were: “Then they should let you know they don’t want to do it, so that you can understand it’s non-consensual, and stop.”

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Spacey was first accused of misconduct in 2017 by the actor Anthony Rapp, who claimed Spacey had tried “to seduce” him when he was just 14. Rapp’s allegations were later dismissed by a Manhattan court in 2022.

Spacey recalled that at the time the first allegations against him broke Ridley Scott had just shown him the final cut of John Paul Getty biopic All the Money in the World. Spacey’s performance was digitally removed before the film was released, and he was replaced by Christopher Plummer.

“I think Ridley made an extraordinary movie, and I'm obviously very sorry he made the decision he made,” said Spacey. “Chris Plummer is a wonderful actor. He was a friend of mine. But I'm hoping that maybe someday our version of the movie might be able to be seen.”

Kevin Spacey and King Charles III, then Prince of Wales, attend The Prince’s Trust Celebrate Success Awards in London in 2015 (Tim P. Whitby - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Having proved in court that Rapp’s allegations were untrue, Spacey thanked the actor John Barrowman for coming forward to defend him.

"[Barrowman] was emphatic about the fact that really the foundation for Anthony's claim was that he had gone to a party that I had thrown where he had escaped into a bedroom, and that later I came into that bedroom and swayed in the doorway,” recalled Spacey. “Well, I had no bedroom, there was no doorway, there was no party, and the only time that he was in my apartment was with John Barrowman after we had had dinner together, and they wanted to come and meet my dog.”

Spacey broke down in tears as he reflected on the impact his trials have had on him, and he revealed that this week his home in Baltimore is being foreclosed on and sold at auction due to his massive legal debts.

Asked whether he’s facing bankruptcy, the actor revealed: “There’s been a couple of times when I thought I was going to file, but we’ve managed to sort of dodge it, at least as of today.” Pressed on how much money he has left, Spacey first replied: “None,” before telling Morgan: “Well, you have some sense of legal bills. I still owe a lot of legal bills.” He added that the figure he owes is: “considerable. Many millions.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Spacey also recalled that Elton John and his husband David Furnish had been the first person to email him after the accusations first surfaced. Spacey choked back tears as he said: “You actually just reminded me that Elton was the first email I got on October 30th of 2017 – after the [Anthony] Rapp story had come out – saying, ‘We love you. Whatever you need, we’re here for you.’”

He was more coy, however, about confirming that King Charles had also sent him a message of support. He told Morgan that he hadn’t heard “directly” from the monarch, but later conceded: “I heard a message, yes, and I’m very, very grateful for that.” At Morgan’s insistence, Spacey confirmed that the message was one of “support.”

He went on to claim, however, that he is not close to Prince Andrew after questions had been raised when Spacey was photographed with Jeffrey Epstein’s confidante Ghislaine Maxwell sitting on the thrones at Buckingham Palace in 2002.

Spacey said he had been invited by former President Bill Clinton on an eight-day humanitarian trip to Africa in 2002.

“It was primarily to raise awareness and prevention for AIDS, and particularly for mothers who had HIV to get the medication they needed to not pass it onto their children, so I said yes, absolutely,” the actor claimed, growing emotional at the memory of meeting Nelson Mandela.

Kevin Spacey with Cherie Blair, President Bill Clinton and then Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2002 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

He said he later learned that the jet the group had travelled on belonged to Epstein, and that Epstein had been present on the plane along with a group of “young girls”.

Spacey went on to say that he felt uncomfortable about the disgraced financier, despite claiming not to know who he was. “I didn’t want to be around this guy because I felt he put the president at risk on that trip to South Africa, because there were these young girls,” said Spacey. “We were like, ‘Who is this guy?’”

The group continued on to the UK as Clinton had been invited by former Prime Minister Tony Blair to give a speech at a Labour Party conference in Blackpool.

“So, we flew then to London, and the president said to me, ‘Before we leave tomorrow, do you want to come? I am going to go to Buckingham Palace tomorrow to see Prince Andrew, do you want to come?’” said Spacey. “I said, ‘Sure.’”

It was then that Spacey and Maxwell were snapped sitting on the thrones. “This Maxwell woman, she was one of many people to sit down next to me in that throne room,” Spacey claimed. “I have no relationship with her. I had no relationship with [Epstein]. I mean he’s not my friend. I am not a confidant. I’ve never spent time with him.”

Spacey will hope that his candid answers to Morgan’s questions, along with his attempts to distance himself from Epstein and Maxwell, will help him return to work at the highest levels of film and television. Reactions on social media to the interview have so far been mixed, however, with some finding Spacey’s contrition convincing while others doubt the sincerity of a “master actor”.

Spacey, it seems, still has more to do to clear his name in the court of public opinion. “My goal is no longer to be the best actor, which it was,” he told Morgan. “My goal is now to prove that I'm a man of good character, and that is my responsibility every single day to show that and demonstrate that.”

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