Former TV Anchorwoman Accuses Kevin Spacey of Assaulting Her Son
By Katharine Q. Seelye
New York Times
November 8, 2017
|Heather Unruh, a former Boston TV news anchor, held back tears Wednesday as she accused Kevin Spacey of sexually assaulting her 18-year-old son last summer on Nantucket. |
A longtime Boston television journalist on Wednesday accused Kevin Spacey of sexually assaulting her 18-year-old son in the summer of 2016 at a Nantucket bar.
At an emotional news conference, Heather Unruh, a former news anchor for WCVB, an ABC affiliate, said that the actor plied her son with “drink after drink” and then reached down his pants and grabbed his genitals. Her son had told Mr. Spacey that he was 21, she said, though he was only 18.
“But,” said Ms. Unruh, regardless of her son’s age, “Kevin Spacey had no right to sexually assault him. There was no consent.” She said she hoped the actor would go to jail.
Mr. Spacey and his spokesman did not immediately reply to email messages seeking comment on Wednesday.
Ever since the actor Anthony Rapp came forward on Oct. 29 to accuse Mr. Spacey of sexual misconduct 31 years ago, when Mr. Rapp was 14, several more men have spoken out publicly about what they described as inappropriate sexual behavior over the decades by Mr. Spacey, an Oscar-winning actor. Mr. Spacey issued a statement saying he did not recall the incident with Mr. Rapp and, at the same time, announced that he was gay and wanted to begin “examining my own behavior.” Mr. Spacey has denied some of the accusations against him while also saying he would seek unspecified “treatment.” He has been suspended from his Netflix television series “House of Cards.”
|Kevin Spacey has denied some of the accusations against him while also saying he wanted to begin “examining my own behavior.” |
Ms. Unruh said that she discussed the incident informally with the sheriff of Nantucket, Mass., last summer shortly after hearing her son’s account, but only last week did her son officially report the matter to the Nantucket police, who are conducting an investigation. She said her son also “handed over evidence,” which she declined to describe.
Her son, now a sophomore in college, did not attend the news conference. Ms. Unruh said they decided to go public now because the climate had changed after accusations of sexual assault and harassment against Harvey Weinstein and because victims of sexual misconduct were no longer being blamed.
Mitchell Garabedian, who is representing Ms. Unruh’s son and who joined her at the news conference, said that the allegation against Mr. Spacey was “well within the statute of limitations” for a civil claim and “also within the criminal statute of limitations.” They are now considering their legal options.
Describing the incident, which she said took place at the Club Car restaurant and bar on Nantucket in July 2016, Ms. Unruh said: “Kevin Spacey brought him drink after drink after drink and when my son was drunk, Spacey made his move and sexually assaulted him.”
She said the room was crowded and dimly lit. After Mr. Spacey grabbed him, her son shifted his body to try to remove the hand, then he froze, Ms. Unruh said.
“Kevin Spacey insisted he come with him to a private after-hours party to drink even more,” Ms. Unruh said. When Mr. Spacey left to go to the bathroom, a woman who had seen that the son was shaken came to his side and “told him to run and he did.”
“He ran as fast as he could all the way to his grandmother’s house,” his mother said, where he told his sister what had happened. The two then called their mother in the middle of the night.
Directly addressing Mr. Spacey, Ms. Unruh said: “Shame on you for what you did to my son.”
“You are a sexual predator,” she said. “Your actions are criminal.”
Mr. Garabedian, who represented victims of the Catholic Church clergy abuse scandal (and was portrayed by Stanley Tucci in the film “Spotlight”), said he was conducting his own investigation and would contact Mr. Spacey but had not done so yet.
Ms. Unruh said that a community of victims of Mr. Spacey was developing. Some had reached out to her after she sent a tweet Oct. 13 saying: “The #weinsteinscandal has emboldened me— #truth time. I was a Kevin Spacey fan until he assaulted a loved one. Time the dominoes fell.”
She said Wednesday that many of these people could not come forward publicly themselves and that some “have been suffering this for decades and haven’t told anyone until they told me.”