Kevin Spacey broke his silence and spoke to a crowd for the first time since his #MeToo accusations of sexual assault back in 2017, comparing him losing his job and his ability to act to people who are out of work as a result of the coronavirus.
Spacey spoke as part of a German business conference called Bits & Pretzels, giving a roughly 10-minute speech that was streamed virtually from his home. In it he explained that while he usually doesn’t like to tell people he can relate to their situation, he said in this instance, “I can relate to what it feels like to have your world suddenly stop.”
“I don’t think it will come as a surprise for anyone that my world completely changed in the fall of 2017. My job, my relationships and my standing in my own industry were gone in just a matter of hours,” Spacey said. “And so while we may have found ourselves in similar situations albeit for very different reasons, I still feel that some of the emotional struggles are very much the same. And so I do have empathy for what it feels like to suddenly be told that you can’t go back to work, or that you might lose your job, and it’s a situation you have absolutely no control over.”
Spacey made an analogy to driving a car in pursuit of dreams and the pitfalls of defining yourself by your work and said he was lost when he and his figurative car stopped and were lost.
“I was so busy defining myself by what I did or what I was trying to do that when it stopped, I had no idea what to do next, because all I ever knew was how to act,” Spacey said. “When my career came to a grinding, screeching halt, when I was faced with the uncertainty that I might never be hired as an actor again, I had asked myself a question I’d never asked myself before, which is, if I can’t act, who am I?”
Most recently at the end of last year, Spacey settled a sexual assault lawsuit with an unidentified massage therapist who had said the actor forced him to touch his genitals twice during a massage session in Malibu. The man died earlier in 2019 of undisclosed causes, according to his attorney.
Spacey has posted a pair of videos on Christmas Eve for each of the last two years, performing as his character from “House of Cards” Frank Underwood, but these are among his first public comments that have addressed his life after #MeToo.
Watch Spacey’s full speech at the conference above.