London’s Old Vic theatre says it has received 20 allegations of inappropriate behaviour by former artistic director Kevin Spacey, following an investigation.
The news follows several complaints made against Spacey - beginning with fellow US actor Anthony Rapp who said Spacey made sexual advances towards him when he was 14 years old - which has resulted in London’s Metropolitan police service investigating the actor and him being fired from Netflix series House Of Cards.
Earlier this week, Sally Greene, the Old Vic chief executive who hired Spacey to the theatre, denied having any knowledge of his alleged misconduct.
Now, the theatre has confirmed that an investigation conducted by law firm, Lewis Silkin has resulted in 20 personal testimonies of alleged inappropriate behaviour by Spacey between 1995 and 2013.
A statement released by the Old Vic, which can be read in full here, said that with one exception, none of the reported incidents were raised with management.
It adds that none of the correspondents were minors at the time of the alleged incidents.
They said: “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 investigation found that his stardom and status at The Old Vic may have prevented people, and in particular junior staff or young actors, from feeling that they could speak up or raise a hand for help.”
The reports said that staff who observed Spacey’s behaviour claimed they were unclear about how to respond and in some cases “said they did not feel confident that The Old Vic would take those allegations seriously given who he was”.
The theatre “truly apologies for not creating an environment or culture where people felt able to speak freely”.
The investigation noted that “no legal claims, formal grievances, formal disputes, settlement agreements or payments made or authorised were made at all in relation to Kevin Spacey during his tenure” and that it had ”not been possible to verify any of these allegations”.
Nick Clarry, chairman of The Old Vic, commented: ”On behalf of The Old Vic Board of Trustees, to all those people who felt unable to speak up at the time, The Old Vic truly apologises. Inappropriate behaviour by anyone working at The Old Vic is completely unacceptable.
“We will foster a safe and supportive environment without prejudice, harassment or bullying of any sort, at any level. We want anyone who works hereto feel confident, valued and proud to be part of The Old Vic family.”
Matthew Warchus, the theatre’s current artistic director, added: “I have genuine and deep sympathy for all those who have come forward and said they were hurt in some way by my predecessor’s actions. Everyone is entitled to work in an environment free from harassment and intimidation. The Old Vic is now actively engaged in the process of healing and the process of prevention.”