Harry Dreyfuss—an actor and writer, and the son of Oscar-winner Richard Dreyfuss—has added his name to the ever-growing list of young men accusing Kevin Spacey of groping or sexually assaulting them in their youths. Dreyfuss wrote about the incident, which took place when he was 18 and visiting his father while he prepared to star opposite Spacey in a play, for Buzzfeed today, giving a first-person account of the alleged assault.
Dreyfuss describes the slow-burn of Spacey’s interest, from moments of unwarranted emotional intimacy, to escalating physical contact, to the alleged groping incident, which took place in Spacey’s apartment while the 18-year-old’s father was in the room, intently focusing on his script.
After a few minutes, he put his hand on my thigh. Finally (finally, finally) I became suspicious. It took that long because it just never occurred to me that Kevin would be interested in me in the first place. He was an adult man, a hero of mine, my dad’s boss, none of which were categories on my radar for sexual interactions. Besides, I thought, Surely he can’t be coming on to me like this right in front of my dad.
In Dreyfuss’ account, he moved around the room, attempting to avoid Spacey without causing a scene. Spacey followed, replacing his hand on Dreyfuss’ thigh, despite clear signs that the contact was unwanted. Then:
Over the course of about 20 seconds, centimeter by centimeter, Kevin crawled his hand from my thigh over toward my crotch. My mind went blank. Suddenly, he had completed his journey and now he had all of me in his hand. I stopped reading the script and my eyes went wide. I lifted up my head and faced him. Looking into his eyes, I gave the most meager shake of my head that I could manage. I was trying to warn him without alerting my dad, who still had his eyes glued to the page. I thought I was protecting everyone. I was protecting my dad’s career. I was protecting Kevin, who my dad surely would have tried to punch. I was protecting myself, because I thought one day I’d want to work with this man. Kevin had no reaction and kept his hand there. My eyes went back to the script and I kept reading.
According to Dreyfuss, he’s told the story many times over the years, always phrasing it as a humorous anecdote. “For the last nine years,” he writes, “Whenever I would tell this story to people who refused to laugh—who insisted that I had gone through something profoundly wrong—I would always try to downplay it so they could just see the funny side. I especially wanted to discourage them from thinking that what happened to me was something I ever needed to speak publicly about.” Dreyfuss said that attitude changed after the #MeToo campaign that began in the wake of the current Harvey Weinstein scandal, and especially since actor Anthony Rapp came forward with his own story of Spacey’s inappropriate sexual behavior toward him earlier this week.
“In minimizing my own experience all these years, I unwittingly played a role in minimizing it for everyone,” Dreyfuss concludes. “That ends now. This was never a funny story. Rather than a punchline, I hope my story can serve as inspiration to others who may have felt that they couldn’t or shouldn’t speak up until now.”