Eight people who worked on the set of the Netflix show House of Cards have accused Kevin Spacey of creating a “toxic” work environment by sexually harassing them, according to a report.
The eight people, who remain anonymous for fear of putting their careers in jeopardy, told CNN that Spacey exhibited “predatory” behavior towards young, male production staffers on the show that included vulgar comments and nonconsensual touching.
One former production assistant on the show alleged that Spacey, the Oscar-winning actor who also served as one of the show’s executive producers, sexually assaulted him while they traveled to the House of Cards set 30 miles away from Baltimore.
The assistant said he was assigned to pick up Spacey from an offsite location and drive him to the set. While the two were in the car together, the actor allegedly forced his hands down his production assistant’s pants while the car was moving.
The assistant alleged that Spacey touched him without his consent.
“I was in a state of shock,” the former assistant said. “He was a man in a very powerful position on the show and I was someone very low on the totem pole and on the food chain there.”
Once they got to the set, the assistant said he took Spacey’s belongings to the trailer when the actor allegedly cornered him and inappropriately made contact with him.
“I told him, ‘I don’t think I’m ok with this, I don’t think I’m comfortable with this,’” the former assistant claimed. He added that Spacey became “visibly flustered” and fled the scene.
The former assistant claimed that Spacey’s “predatory” behavior was not an uncommon occurrence.
“I have no doubt that this type of predatory behavior was routine for him and that my experience was one of many and that Kevin had few if any qualms about exploiting his status and position,” he said. “It was a toxic environment for young men who had to interact with him at all in the crew, cast, background actors.”
Another crew member said that Spacey “would put his hands on” him “in weird ways” and would “massage his shoulders from behind” without his consent.
The latest allegations come after a 48-year-old artist accused Spacey, who was then a 24-year-old acting teacher, of trying to rape him when he was a 15-year-old acting student. The artist said he was inspired to tell his story after actor Anthony Rapp claimed Sunday night that Spacey made unwanted sexual advances toward him in 1986.
Spacey came out as gay and apologized to Rapp but claimed he had no recollection of the incident.
In light of the growing number of sexual misconduct allegations against Spacey, Netflix and production company Media Rights Capital (MRC) announced that it would suspend production of House of Cards indefinitely.
Both organizations released updated statements Thursday after the latest allegations.
“Netflix was just made aware of one incident, five years ago, that we were informed was resolved swiftly,” Netflix said in a statement. “On Tuesday, in collaboration with MRC, we suspended production, knowing that Kevin Spacey wasn’t scheduled to work until Wednesday.”
MRC said Thursday that the company had made available “an anonymous complaint hotline, crisis counselors, and sexual harassment legal advisors for the crew.”
MRC told Deadline that Spacey’s alleged behavior on set had been the subject of an investigation within the company during the first year of the show’s production in 2012.
A crew member filed a complaint with human resources about a specific gesture and remark Spacey made towards him, and Spacey went through “training” for his alleged behavior after the incident.