Staff Writer cityXtra Magazine
Netflix has confirmed that House of Cards will continue without the show’s original star Kevin Spacey, after a sex abuse scandal. Spacey, who had starred in the popular Netflix series for five seasons, has had a dramatic fall from grace after a string of men came forward to accuse him of sexual assault.
Star Trek: Discovery actor Anthony Rapp was the first to speak out, accusing Spacey of making an advance when he was 14, leading dozens of other men to come forward with allegations.
Following the controversy, Netfix halted production on the show’s sixth and final season. Today it confirmed that it would film one final season to round out the show, but that Spacey will play no part in the production.
Production on the new eight-episode run will begin next year, starring Robin Wright, who played the villainous Claire Underwood.
Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos said: “We have made an arrangement to produce six seasons of House of Cards. “It will be an eight-episode season. It will start production in early 2018 and it will not involve Kevin Spacey. “We were really excited we could get to an agreement… for the conclusion of the show.”
It is expected that Spacey’s character Frank Underwood, who resigned as President at the end of the fifth series, will be killed off-camera or written out entirely. Spacey had attempted to come out as gay in response to the allegations of sexual assault – a move that was strongly criticised by LGBT activists.
London’s Metropolitan Police is investigating several allegations relating to Spacey, the former artistic director of The Old Vic theatre.
In an interview with BuzzFeed, Star Trek star Anthony Rapp claimed that when he was 14, Spacey invited him to a party at his New York apartment, and while drunk, tried to seduce him by climbing on top of him. But although Spacey was named publicly for the first time, Rapp has made the allegations on a number of occasions previously.
Rapp spoke about the incident in an interview with gay magazine The Advocate back in 2001, but the magazine chose not to name Spacey because it had a policy banning the ‘outing’ of gay celebrities who were in the closet.
Bruce Steele, the former editor of Out Magazine and The Advocate, wrote a piece for USA Today in which he made the admission.
He wrote: “Behind the scenes, I had long known Spacey was gay, or at least bisexual, in part because my friend Anthony Rapp had told me his story of a sexual pass Spacey made at him in 1986, when Rapp was 14 and Spacey was about 26.
“Rapp told me that in the mid 1990s, and we even printed his account of the encounter in The Advocate in 2001, with Spacey’s name redacted.” He explained: “The Advocate had developed a “no outing” policy before I joined the staff, and we stuck to it. We cajoled, befriended and pressured, but we did not report on anyone’s sexuality without their cooperation. “Just as each of us had reached the decision to come out in our own time, celebrities needed the same opportunity, even if it took them years and years.”
The former editor continued: “Of course, many close friends knew of Rapp’s encounter with the actor in the 1980s, including some of us in the media. But what could be done with that story?
“There were only two people in the room, they had never met again and no parade of additional accusers was forthcoming — so, right or wrong, we told ourselves we could not report it.
“In keeping with The Advocate’s ‘no outing’ policy, when Rapp related the entire incident to writer Dennis Hensley in 2001, we removed Spacey’s name and identifying details. “Rapp understood the decision, and he didn’t share the story again via the news media until now.”
He added: “What Rapp’s revelation and Spacey’s response prove is that even one person, with the story of one night, can make a difference. I will long ponder what we didn’t do in 2001, I hope with concrete results about what we can do in 2017.”
Since Rapp’s allegations, a string of other men have made allegations against Spacey. A teenager today claimed that Spacey exposed his penis to him, before giving him his £5,000 watch as a bribe to stay quiet. Daniel Beal, who was a 19-year-old barman in 2010, said the two-time Oscar winner approached him on his smoke break and showed him his penis.
He allegedly asked the teenager: “It’s big, isn’t it?” before trying to get him to touch it. The actor then insisted that Beal accept his IWC Portofino watch, worth thousands of pounds, for Dan’s £20 plastic Casio.
Beal, who accused Spacey of “grooming,” said he thought the actor “was joking, but he took off his watch and gave it to me. “Looking back, I realize it was to keep me quiet,” he told The Sun.
Filmmaker Tony Montana has also accused Spacey of sexually assaulting him in 2003, saying: “He put his hand on my crotch forcefully and grabbed my whole package.”
Montana, whose film Overnight was an Official Selection of the Sundance Film Festival, said Spacey – who he recalled seemed to be drunk – told him: “This designates ownership.”
The filmmaker, who was in his 30s, alleges he had to physically push Spacey off him and had PTSD for six months after the incident.