Kevin Spacey status as Netherlands event headliner unclear as more sexual assault claims surface

Kevin Spacey
Kevin Spacey. Photo: DSeow / Wikimedia Commons

With reporting by Janene Pieters.

Dutch bank ING is still undecided if actor Kevin Spacey will be dropped as a speaker at its BusinessBoost event later this month after at least four men accused the American actor of sexually assaulting, abusing, or harassing them over the course of his career. An ING spokesperson told NL Times at the beginning of the week they want clarity and more information about the situation before making a firm decision to drop Spacey or to keep him as the event's headliner.

That point was reiterated to NL Times on Wednesday despite new allegations from three victims. An ING spokesperson said they still want to speak directly with Spacey's management before making a final decision. "We cannot yet confirm if [the allegations] will have an effect on his presence at the event," a message appearing on the BusinessBoost Live website stated. "It is our intention to give clarity before the weekend." Marketing materials found on the event's website and Facebook page on Wednesday indicates that Spacey will headline the event, however his name was removed from new marketing material shared by BusinessBoost on Tuesday.

Other speakers include media mogul John de Mol, and Mo Gawdat from X (formerly Google X). De Mol is the founder and CEO of Talpa. A spokesperson for Laren-based Talpa was unable to provide NL Times with comment about De Mol's participation in the event in light of the latest accusations against Spacey. An email asking X parent company Alphabet for similar comment went unanswered.

BusinessBoost is an entrepreneurial speaking event for which the bank invited several visionary entrepreneurs to speak. The event is scheduled to take place in Ahoy Rotterdam on November 29th, where the largest venue at the complex seats nearly 16 thousand.

On Sunday, Buzzfeed published an interview with actor Anthony Rapp where he accused Spacey of making aggressive sexual overtures towards him in 1986, when he was 14 years old. According to Rapp, Spacey laid down on top of him when they were alone in a hotel room. "I was aware that he was trying to get with me sexually", he said.

Spacey published an apology to Rapp on Twitter. "I am beyond horrified to hear his story. I honestly do not remember the encounter, it would have been over 30 years ago. But if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior", he said. The actor also came out as gay in the statement.

Since then, several other men came forward with stories that Spacey sexually assaulted them. According to the BBC, American filmmaker Tony Montana also said that Spacey grabbed his crotch in a Los Angeles bar in 2003. And Mexican actor Roberto Cavazos said that Spacey "routinely preyed" on young male actors.

Another man, who wanted to remain anonymous, told British media that Spacey invited him to spend a weekend in New York with him in the 1980's when he was a teenager. According to the man, it quickly became clear that Spacey was interested in "a way I wasn't". He said that Spacey invited him to share his bed, but he slept on the sofa instead. He woke up with the actor's arms around him and his head on his stomach He added that he doesn't think anything sexual happened, but said: "I was uncomfortable at best, traumatized at worst."

Daniel Beal, a barman from West Sussex, said that the House of Cards star exposed himself to him, and then offered him a 5 thousand pound watch to keep him quiet, according to UK news site Evening Standard. According to Beal, Spacey sat next to him on a bench as he was taking a break from his job at a hotel bar, and showed him his genitals. He then insisted that the barman exchange his cheap watch for Spacey's expensive one, according to Beal.

Following these allegations, Netflix decided to cancel House of Cards after season 6, which started filming last month, Variety reports. On Monday Netflix and House of Cards producer Media Rights Capital released a statement on Spacey, saying that they're "deeply troubled by last night's news concerning Kevin Spacey."

The International TV Academy also decided to withdraw a special Emmy award Spacey was set to receive later this month, BBC reports. The International Emmy Founders Award is a special award for those "whose creative accomplishments have contributed in some way to the quality of global television production". The Academy said they've decided to withdraw this reward "in light of recent events". 

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