Popular LGBT magazine the Advocate has admitted that they knew about Anthony Rapp’s sexual harassment allegations against Kevin Spacey in 2001.
In an article titled, “Why Did The Advocate Redact Kevin Spacey’s Name in 2001?” the magazine revealed that despite the fact they knew of Spacey’s alleged sexual misconduct with 14-year-old Rapp, they chose to keep his identity hidden.
“In 2001, Rent actor Anthony Rapp and Dennis Hensley — a former freelance writer for The Advocate — were both promoting CD releases at the time. Hensley believed he asked the LGBT magazine’s then-editor in chief, Bruce C. Steele, for ‘a little online space’ to help promote these projects,” the Advocate explained in their article. “But at one point during the brief back-and-forth, Rapp broached the topic of closeted actors. And a bombshell dropped. ‘That makes me think of [a certain leading man] in [a certain award-winning film],’ said Hensley at the time — the name and film were redacted in the final published article.”
In response, Rapp reportedly declared, “It’s hard for me to evaluate his acting because I’m so angry at him… I met him when I was 14 because we were both in plays and he invited me to a party at his house. I was bored, so I was in his bedroom watching TV and didn’t know everybody had left, and he came to the bedroom and he picked me up and lay down on top of me.”
“Oh, my God! What did you do?” replied Hensley in 2001.
“I squirmed away and went into the bathroom,” Rapp claimed. “I came out and I excused myself, and he’s like ‘You sure you want to go?’ I always wonder if he remembers it, because he was pretty drunk. And he’s had so many.”
In their article, the Advocate then attempted to justify the reason why they didn’t release Spacey’s identity.
“Hensley’s memory is fuzzy about the conversation with Steele, regarding how Spacey’s name was redacted. He said he may have been ‘seasoned enough’ at the time to not even type Spacey’s name in his first draft, because he knew ‘it would never run’ if he did,” they explained, with Hensley reportedly claiming, “It just felt like a lot more of a legal mess than we’d want to get into. We weren’t doing a big exposé. We were just having a conversation about music and stuff. It didn’t seem like the time or the place to try to break that big nugget.”
The Advocate also pointed towards their “no outing” policy, claiming they would only out a closeted gay celebrity if it were a “criminal case,” which they decided Spacey’s wasn’t.
This month, BuzzFeed published Anthony Rapp’s allegations against Spacey in full, without redaction, prompting Netflix to postpone production of the new season of House of Cards, which stars Spacey in the leading role.
Since the release of Rapp’s story, others have also made similar accusations against Spacey.