Celebrated author and journalist Gay Talese served up a much less celebrated plate of bad opinions last night, when he decided to wax poetic on Kevin Spacey’s various harassment and assault accusations to Vanity Fair. “I feel so sad, and I hate that actor that ruined this guy’s career,” Talese told a VF reporter at The New York Public Library’s annual Library Lions Gala, presumably referring to actor Anthony Rapp, who kicked off a wave of accusations against Spacey last week when he came forward with allegations that the Oscar-winning actor made a forceful sexual advance toward him when he was only 14. Not that those details earned him any sympathy from the 85-year-old Talese, who followed it up with some absolutely charming advice for any victims of childhood sexual assault in the Vanity Fair audience: “So, O.K., it happened 10 years ago…Jesus, suck it up once in a while!”
Talese—who was recently forced to disavow his latest book, The Voyeur’s Motel, after its credibility was called into question—may or may not have been aware of the way the allegations against Spacey have expanded over the last week, as more and more men have come forward with stories of the actor approaching them—often when they were only teenagers—and groping or making advances toward them. But, also, that doesn’t matter, since the author’s words would be reprehensible regardless of how many minors he was encouraging to shrug off sexual assault.
After expressing his disgust at seeing Spacey “lose a lifetime of success and hard work all because of 10 minutes of indiscretion 10 years or more ago,” Talese finished his little soliloquy with a meditation on human nature, claiming, “You know something, all of us in this room at one time or another did something we’re ashamed of. The Dalai Lama has done something he’s ashamed of. The Dalai Lama should confess…put that in your magazine!” (To the best of our knowledge, the Dalai Lama has never tried to fuck a 14-year-old—or publicly defended said act in Vanity Fair—though, so he’s probably off the hook.)