Kevin Spacey is currently on civil trial for the sexual assault of Anthony Rapp. An actor who came forward with claims 30 years after the fact, in 2017. At that time, Spacey attempted to shift the conversation to his own coming out. “I choose now to live as a gay man,” Spacey then tweeted — infamously – in response.
And now, the narrative surrounding the alleged abuse has shifted again. When taking the stand today, Spacey focused on his own upbringing, describing “a very complicated family dynamic” that centered around his father: apparently, a neo-Nazi.
Spacey discussed his father’s politics in an effort to establish why he did not come out publicly until 2017.
The Sex Abuse Trial
Anthony Rapp was just 14 years old when he says that Kevin Spacey, then 26, invited him over for a party where he put Rapp on his bed, and climbed on top of him, and made a sexual advance. Rapp opened up about the experience in 2017 to BuzzFeed News. Rapp described feeling “frozen” at the time, and said, “The older I get, the more I can’t believe it. I could never imagine [that] anyone else I know would do something like that to a 14-year-old boy.”
As Rapp himself admits, he was a young-looking 14-year-old. But as a child actor, he found early success starring alongside Ed Harris in a Broadway play in 1986. That was how he, a young teen, came to meet Spacey.
Rapp removed himself from the situation — “Are you sure you wanna go?” he says Spacey asked him — and remained in show business. He went on to find fame, starring in the original cast of Rent and on Star Trek: Discovery, in a recurring role.
A few years after coming forward, In 2020, Rapp sued Spacey for sexual assault, sexual battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress under the Child Victims Act.
At first, the lawsuit included another plaintiff, anonymously called C.D., a former acting student of Spacey’s. C.D. says that he was anally sodomized by Spacey, against his will, in 1982 when he was 14. C.D. met Spacey when he was 12 and claims they were sexual on multiple occassions. However, C.D. was dropped from the trial after refusing to refusing disclose his identity.
The trial began, with Rapp as the sole plaintiff, officially on October. 6.
Kevin Spacey’s Father
Anthony Rapp shared his own side of the story earlier this month, and his testimony was familiar to anyone who followed Rapp’s original claims. But today, Space took the stand — and no one expected what came next.
Beginning his life story with a picture what was, as Spacey put it, “a very complicated family dynamic,” Spacey offered a shocking disclosure: “My father was a white supremacist and a neo-Nazi,” the actor said.
Explaining that his father, Thomas Geoffrey Fowler, was often unemployed, Spacey said the man “fell into” a racist ideology. “It meant that my siblings and I had to listen to my father lecturing us for hours and hours and hours about his beliefs and his ideas.” Spacey also said that his best friend in high school could not come over to his house because he was Jewish. He went on:
“Everything about what was happening in that house was something I felt I had to keep to myself and keep private and never, ever talk about to anybody… I wasn’t comfortable talking about things, and part of those things was my father also used to yell at me about the idea that I might be gay, because I was interested in theater, and he didn’t encourage me in that way. My father would scream at me, ‘Don’t be a —.’ He would use an F-word that is very derogatory to the gay community. I won’t say it in court. As I continued in my life, I think I just — I had a degree of shame, because I wanted people to remember the characters that I played and not know too much about me.”— Kevin Spacey, via Vulture
Spacey said that his environment is “[where] my hatred of bigotry and intolerance began.” He also used it as a means to explain why he remained in the closet for so many years — this idea is core to Spacey’s defense. Throughout the trial, Spacey’s lawyers have implied that Rapp shared his account as a means to out the famous Spacey.
While on the stand, he also maintained that Rapp’s account of that night in 1986 is, simply put, “not true.”
Meanwhile, Spacey’s brother, a Rod Stewart impersonator named Randy Fowler, has long been open about their dark childhood. In 2017, Randy told The Daily Mail that in addition to pushing his racist views, the elder Fowler whipped and raped him often.
“He unbuttoned my pants and started playing with me,” Randy said of the first time it happened. He says that he yelled for help from his mother who “came right up and pounded on the door but Dad had locked it and he told me to keep quiet… All of a sudden the pounding stopped. Mom had left. I’d never felt so abandoned. Dad started to perform a sex act on me. That was the beginning of my adolescence.”
Randy added that their father abused their sister, Julie, too.
According to Randy, it was a house of horrors. And he also has opinions of how Spacey was able to escape the torture:
“Kevin tried to avoid what was going on by wrapping himself in an emotional bubble. He became very sly and smart… He was so determined to try to avoid the whippings that he just minded his Ps and Qs until there was nothing inside. He had no feelings.”— Randy Fowler, via The Daily Mail
Randy also shared another sad detail. That he, personally, chose not to have children for fear they could “inherit the sexual predator gene.”
As for whether Spacey did — the jury is still out.