Gabriel Byrne: Kevin Spacey assaulted someone during ‘The Usual Suspects’

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House of Cards will resume production on Season 6, which they were just about to start filming when Kevin Spacey was “outed” as a sexual predator with a long list of victims going back decades. House of Cards suspended production for a time, and quietly reassessed what they were going to do. They brought in people to talk to the crew members, many of whom had been assaulted by Spacey. Netflix decided that there was simply no way to bring back Spacey in any way, shape or form – so how will House of Cards work? They’re just making Robin Wright the lead of the sixth and now final season. I assume that means that they’re killing off the Frank Underwood character. Netflix is framing this as a “we want to do right by the crew members and the people who work on the show and depend on those paychecks.” They’re also framing it as a decision to bring closure to fans of the show.

Anthony Rapp was the first person to speak out publicly about Spacey, and he’s been getting some unhinged trolls in his social media comments. Rapp hasn’t backed down though and he’s been posting some of the hate he’s been getting. Anyway, Rapp says he’s fine with HoC filming again, without Spacey:

I hope that gets HoC fans off Rapp’s back for a while. (Incidentally, the grace with which Rapp told his story and continued to deal with the sh-tstorm was magical, and he deserves so much credit for staying strong.) Meanwhile, Gabriel Byrne has some stuff to say about what went down when he filmed The Usual Suspects with Kevin Spacey… and Bryan Singer too, although Byrne doesn’t say anything about Singer:

In the wake of multiple sexual assault accusations and allegations of workplace sexual harassment, colleagues of Kevin Spacey can’t be blamed for looking back at their professional interactions with the actor with a new air of scrutiny. Spacey’s former co-star Gabriel Byrne certainly has, and in hindsight, the actor’s rumored pattern of behavior seems painfully obvious. So obvious, in fact, that according to Byrne, production was allegedly stopped for two days on the 1995 crime thriller The Usual Suspects due to Spacey being “accused of sexually inappropriate behaviour towards a younger actor.”

“I did not know honestly then the extent of his violence,” the Vikings actor told The Sunday Times this weekend. “I mean, he was kind of a joke in that people would say, ‘That’s Kevin,’ but nobody really understood the depth of his predations.” Byrne claims that it was some time before he and his coworkers discovered the alleged reason behind the brief hiatus. “It was only years later that we began to understand that [filming] was closed down for a particular reason and that was because of inappropriate sexual behaviour by Spacey,” he says. Spacey would eventually go on to win a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for the film, which was directed by Bryan Singer.

Byrne also recalls hearing “vague rumors” about Harvey Weinstein, though he failed to comprehend the gravity of the gossip at the time. “I heard that once or twice from two very well known actresses, but the problem when you hear something like that is, do you pass that on?” Byrne added, “Because if it’s not true, it’s awful, and if it is true, it’s not your job to say, ‘Well, I wasn’t there, the door was locked, I don’t know what happened, I just heard the story.’ But I did not know, and many people didn’t know, the extent of the violence that he perpetrated on women.”

[From Vulture]

Four months ago, this would have been a huge story: the revelation that Spacey’s behavior was so disgusting and criminal that it actually affected production, and production had to be shut down because one actor couldn’t stop assaulting and harassing someone on the crew. Just one more piece of evidence that a lot of people knew about Spacey, just as we’ve learned that a lot of people knew about many of these predators. Should we blame Gabriel for not saying anything about this before?

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31 Responses to “Gabriel Byrne: Kevin Spacey assaulted someone during ‘The Usual Suspects’”

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  1. Crowdhood says:

    Unpopular opinion here but I truly think some men don’t realize the severity or gravity or depth or consequences of other men’s behavior. Now that they are being made aware, they are looking back at moments and things that happened through a different lens. I’m not saying it’s ok that they disregarded the importance of women’s rights etc in the past but I do believe you have to make it ok for people to find awareness and allow that they aren’t the same person as they were 20 years ago (I am referring to men like Gabriel who aren’t accused of anything but were perhaps aware or adjacent to sexual harassment/assault)

    • BaronSamedi says:

      Completely with you on this ‘unpopular’ opinion. Going after everyone who ‘knew something’ serves nobody in this situation and it’s like you say: You have to allow for people’s perceptions to change.

      It used to be completely ok to be utterly sexist towards women in the workplace in the 60’s. In the 80’s that kind of behaviour would not have been ok and it’s only now that we’re actually getting to a point where finally men are made to take on some of the responsibility. I think we should allow the space for the decent men to actually get there.

      I look at John Oliver and think that this is exactly what he is doing. He is taking responsibility but I don’t think he would have been able to do it in this way a year ago. His job would have been on the line too.

      Also I keep repeating it but what do we expect random people who hear a random rumour to actually, practically do with it?

    • adastraperaspera says:

      Agree with you.

    • SlightlyAnonny says:

      So i just finished watching Broadchurch Season 3 and it’s about rape (it’s great. SPOILER ALERT) but there is a moment when they have the criminal in custody and he says with a 100% straight face, “X has had sex before. What’s one more time?” I got literal chills. Months ago I would have thought that that line of thinking is an aberration but now? I think there a whole bunch of predators out there who don’t think they are predators because, “surely someone’s grabbed her @$$ before. Surely she’s had sex she wasn’t excited about before.” Ugh.

      • Annie says:

        I just watched the third season of Broadchurch this weekend and had the exact same reaction to that comment. Chills. Watching that season was especially interesting because of what is going on now.

    • Ginger says:

      I agree 100%. The important thing here is for men to analyze their behavior and engage in this necessary conversation without derailing it because they feel defensive.

    • Redgrl says:

      I thought Gabriel Byrne had been abused himself – by a priest, I thought.. if that is true, one would think he would have more insight…or maybe the reverse is true – just he was in too much pain from his own experience to recognize or cope with what was going on…

  2. Raina says:

    I refuse to cancel Byrne. Yet.
    It seems painfully obvious that many people heard something, in varying degrees, but simply didn’t know the extent or who to discuss this with or what platform to use. I’m glad the dialogue has been opened FINALLY and everything is coming to light. I’m just not certain how that dialogue could have happened back then with little proof and no backing. Of course there were exceptions and the people who really were in the know and covered it up remain deplorable and spineless.
    As for Spacey? This is jail time behavior. He’s a criminal.

  3. Lizzie says:

    if we blame Gabriel for not saying anything about this before we have to blame every single person on that set who also knew production was shut down b/c of spacey. gabriel byrne actually knows the severity and sensitivity of these issues as he was molested as a child by a priest.

  4. Nanny to the Rescue says:

    I think Hollywood is a deep pool of rumors so people there actually have a hard time deciding which ones to believe and which ones not to believe, especially if they don’t personally know the people involved. And, each of them probably heard at least a couple of exaggerated rumors about themselves, so they don’t always take everything they hear at face value until something very serious comes up.

    Byrne is saying he heard something but wasn’t aware of how major it was. I think that was probably true for most of the people in HW. And as for learning this later, what could he do? It was all in the past and he wasn’t in the position to call the police, so him saying anything to the press would be just starting another rumor.

    • ichsi says:

      I couldn’t agree more. I also think Byrne expressed this very well here and didn’t phrase it as an awkward excuse either.

      Man, I love The Usual Suspects, but yeah, it’s so sad if you think of all these gross criminals involved in this. Also I’ve just finished episode 9 of ST Discovery and Anthony Rapp breaks, my. heart. All the success to him.

  5. Red32 says:

    He says they didn’t know the full story until years later. I’m not going to hold someone accountable for not running to the press/police with a years-old story they didn’t witness and couldn’t prove.

    • Tara says:

      Plus, I’m inferring that he’s saying he’d likely take the rumors more seriously now, given the larger context provided by the depth and breadth of the problem as currently revealed.

  6. Bridget says:

    Gabriel Byrne isn’t responsible for Kevin Spacey’s actions.

    • Pandy says:

      True! I think the original poster, Crowdhood, makes a very valid point. Men probably do not really understand a woman’s experience (or another man) and public opinion is always evolving. So something 20 years ago that was shrugged off is no longer. Can’t tar everyone with the rapist brush – and we shouldn’t!!!! I love the awareness happening and how people are looking at their own actions.

      • Nanny to the Rescue says:

        I’m not sure I completely agree with “was shrugged off 20 years ago”. I was growing into adulthood in the 80s and no, it wasn’t just acceptable to sexually harass or take advantage of your power back then and not in the 90s.

        Sure people were more likely to sweep it under the rug (sadly we can say that about 4 years ago too), but I disagree that men didn’t understand it was wrong and shrug it off. Some didn’t, for sure, perhaps more than today (although today many still shrug it off and cry for the good ol’ days), but there were men even back then, in my life at least, who were very aware of this being an issue. And I am still thankful to them. So I don’t buy the “different era” excuse in any of these cases.

    • blogdis says:

      I Agee further as per many here only women are to be held accountable for men’s actions
      / s

  7. Mina says:

    When sexual assault/harassment happens, it has to be either the victim or someone who witnessed it first hand who can go public with such a story. It’s not anyone’s place to do it, certainly not someone who just heard rumors, because then you are only damaging the situation and putting the victim in an uncomfortable place.

  8. tealily says:

    It’s disgusting to me that that was Spacey’s big breakthough role, and that even then this behavior was going on. Like, if at that point — when they actually had to shut down production — someone had made the call to remove him from the film, he would never have had the opportunity to assault a lot of the people he later came in contact with. It sickens me that he was given a pass at that time and went on to win an Oscar for it.

  9. KBeth says:

    Blame Byrne for what? He heard vague rumors but seems to honestly have been in the dark in regards to just how dangerous Spacy was/is.
    ……..& I must have been living under a rock, I was clueless about Spacey until recently. I thought he was highly regarded in Hollywood.
    Does anyone know if authorities are pursuing criminal charges?

  10. Mindrew says:

    Rumor has it that Bryan Singer caught Kevin giving Bryan’s then-boyfriend a hand job in his trailer during filming.

    THIS could definitely be what Gabriel Byrne was alluding to.

    • jetlagged says:

      Why have I never made the connection that Bryan Singer directed Usual Suspects? For the longest time it was one of my favorite movies, but I don’t think I can ever watch it again.

  11. Allie B says:

    We all know something about someone. Have we always spoken up when we received second and third hand information? It’s difficult to ascertain what stories are true and which ones aren’t when you’re IN it. Outside looking in is always easy; Monday morning quarterbacking. There are people who were absolutely complicit in these men getting away with crimes for decades, but we can’t shame every person who knew a little of this or that. People like Bob Weinstein knew exactly what was going on so it’s insulting for him to come out and say otherwise. Gabriel found out later and I don’t know what would’ve come out of him repeating something he wasn’t totally sure of, especially since the director is a known abuser and he’s still working.

    • BJ says:

      Exactly at every job I have ever had I have heard rumors about a manager or supervisor engaging in sexually inappropriate behavior.So I guess I am also complicit since I never reported the rumors to HR.

  12. Annie says:

    I just hope Jack Lemmon didn’t know. That’s all I can say.

  13. Jay (the Canadian one) says:

    “Should we blame Gabriel for not saying anything about this before?”

    Wouldn’t that be the same as asking why the victims didn’t speak up sooner?

  14. What's Inside says:

    Pervs have been around forever and are well documented in history, protected by their positions of power and resources, hidden by whatever bureaucracy they are part of. The public has been lied to and kept in the dark so that the money will keep rolling in. How many figures of the past would be viewed differently if all was revealed?

  15. holly hobby says:

    No I’m not blaming Gabriel. Sorry you don’t make a case by going on “hearsay.” What do you do with vague rumors? You pass it on and it’s untrue it hurts the person. If it’s true and you don’t have any tangible proof, you can get sued. So no it’s not Gabriel’s fault for not disclosing this sooner.

  16. Becky says:

    Byrne was molested as a child by a Catholic priest–he wrote a moving essay about this that is included in the book Being Catholic (which includes essays by numerous individuals such as Byrne who were raised Catholic but no longer practice).

    So I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt. I suspect he would have said something if he’d known something actionable at the time, but I also understand that there might be psychological barriers to doing that while still dealing with the emotional repurcussions of one’s own abuse.