Kevin Spacey recited a poem Saturday at the National Roman Museum that left many of his critics wondering if it was an eerily reflection of his feelings about the more than dozen accusations of sexual assault against him.
“I shook the country, made the arenas vibrate, tore my opponents to shreds,” Spacey read in front a small crowd. “I lit up the darkness, collected insults, compelled applause. Not everyone knew how to do this. None of you. On the other hand, life is not frightening for those who have never taken a risk.”
He was reading “The Boxer” by Italian poet Gabriele Tinti, which describes a tired and broken fighter who has been beaten and is left bleeding by the ringside.
“The more you’re wounded the greater you are, and the more empty you are,” Spacey continued. “They used me for their entertainment… Life was over in a moment.”
In an email to TheWrap, Tinti called Spacey’s performance “astounding and extraordinary,” one that “left everyone dazed.” He described how the two came together on the project, which he says was not inspired by the life of Spacey as other news outlets have reported.
“I contacted Kevin Spacey letting my work speak and presenting the project to him. He immediately appreciated the courage and special nature of my proposal,” Tinti said. “The idea of giving voice to ancient statuary, of giving new life to the finds, the fragments, that which remains of our past, struck a note with his sensitivity and deep love of art. His generosity and willingness to ensure the reading took place made all the rest easy.”
The appearance follows a rough two years for Spacey, who has been in a legal battle over multiple sexual assault allegations. In July, the criminal sexual assault case against Spacey in Massachusetts was dropped, according to court filings by Nantucket District Attorney Michael O’Keefe. While Spacey is no longer facing jail time for this accusation, he is still being investigated in London in connection to six accusations of sexual harassment and assault while the actor was artistic director of the Old Vic Theatre from 2004 to 2015.