×

Foundation Set Up by Kevin Spacey to Work With Young People Faces Questions

Questions are being asked of a foundation set up by Kevin Spacey to work with young people in the light of multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against the award-winning actor.

Britain’s Charities Commission said Friday that it was seeking assurances from the Kevin Spacey Foundation, which operates in both the U.K. and the U.S., that it adheres to policies for keeping young people safe. The commission has also asked for more information from The Old Vic Trust, an outreach organization of London’s Old Vic theater, where Spacey was artistic director from 2004 to 2015.

The Kevin Spacey Foundation works with young people in film, theater and dance, offering scholarships and awards, mentorships and educational programs for emerging talent. The foundation has charitable status in both the U.S. and Britain, where it has worked with Pace University in New York and Regent’s University London, respectively.

A spokesman for the Kevin Spacey Foundation told Variety that there have been no complaints of wrongdoing against anyone at the organization. “KSF has never received any report of improper conduct either by Mr. Spacey or anyone else connected with the foundation,” the spokesman said.

But with the 58-year-old Oscar winner’s hit Netflix show “House of Cards” suspended and his online acting masterclass pulled in the wake of the allegations, the foundation’s prospects looks uncertain. The foundation’s Twitter handle has been disabled and its Instagram and Facebook pages are down. The spokesman declined to comment on the KSF’s future.

Netflix and The Old Vic have both said that they are deeply troubled by the accusations.

In addition to an allegation by actor Anthony Rapp that Spacey sexually assaulted him in the 1980s when he was just 14 and Spacey was 26, two other men in the entertainment industry, Mexican actor Roberto Cavazos and American documentary maker Tony Montana, have gone on record to say they had been inappropriately touched or “forcefully” groped by Spacey. Several current and former “House of Cards” staff members told CNN that Spacey created a toxic workplace environment for some young male staffers.

Two other men have anonymously alleged that Spacey, while in his 20s, made unwanted advances on them when they were teenagers. And Scotland Yard said Friday that it was investigating an alleged sexual assault in South London in 2008, which the Sun newspaper said involved a British man who alleges that Spacey performed a sex act on him against his will when he was an aspiring 23-year-old actor seeking Spacey’s career advice.

No charges have been brought against Spacey, who has said he is seeking “evaluation and treatment.”

In Britain, the Kevin Spacey Foundation works in local schools under Steven Jackson-Winter, a trained drama teacher, and a team of trained educators to encourage young performers. Spacey has no direct involvement in those campus programs.

The actor has been involved in mentoring and craft workshops for young talent outside of the school programs, which he also did at The Old Vic through the theater’s education and mentoring programs. Spacey is thought to have scaled down his involvement in recent times given the demanding “House of Cards” schedule.

This year’s KSF school and mentoring programs have finished for the year. A 2018 schedule has not been set yet.

Variety has attempted to contact more than a dozen KSF scholarship and grant winners in the U.S and Britain. Nearly all declined to comment. Two said they did not have direct contact with Spacey while working with the foundation; one of them said her experience at KSF was “great.”

The scholarships help cover fees for students at Pace and Regent’s universities. Cara Cea, a spokeswoman for Pace, said that the university “received two gifts from the Spacey Foundation – one in 2014 and one in 2015. Those funds assisted students by way of scholarships to attend Pace. There is no ongoing relationship with the foundation or with Spacey.”

A spokesman for Regent’s University London said that its involvement with the KSF had only ever been intended as short-term and that the relationship ended before the current allegations against the actor surfaced. Spacey did give workshops at the university, at which college staff were always present. Regent’s added that no complaints have ever been made to the university against the actor.

In an IRS filing, the Kevin Spacey Foundation listed nearly $1 million in assets at the end of 2015 in the U.S. In the U.K., it reported income of about £124,000, or about $161,000 at current exchange rates, in 2016. Several Hollywood studios and companies listed as foundation partners and sponsors said their involvement amounted to one-time donations or backing for the foundation’s gala fundraiser, the last of which took place in 2015. High-profile companies and individuals in film, TV, and theater have also worked with the foundation.

For 2015, the U.S. arm of the foundation listed Nathan Darrow, a fellow “House of Cards” star, and Todd Rosen, currently managing director of The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, as members of the foundation’s board of directors.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Lorene Scafaria, Jennifer Lopez. Lorene Scafaria,

    'Hustlers' Director Lorene Scafaria: 'We Wanted to Treat It Like a Sports Movie'

    The star-studded cast of “Hustlers” didn’t just become strippers in the empowering female-helmed blockbuster — they also became athletes. When speaking to “The Big Ticket,” Variety and iHeart’s movie podcast, at the Toronto Film Festival earlier this month, “Hustlers” director Lorene Scafaria explained the extreme athleticism required of the movie’s leading actresses, who all had [...]

  • Jonathan Van NessLos Angeles Beautycon, Portrait

    Jonathan Van Ness Reveals HIV Diagnosis, Former Drug Addiction

    “Queer Eye’s” Jonathan Van Ness is getting vulnerable in his new memoir “Over the Top.” In a preview of his book with the New York Times, Van Ness opened up about his early struggles with sex and drug addiction as well as his experience with sexual assault, revealing that he was abused by an older [...]

  • 4127_D022_00003_RC(l-r.) Elizabeth McGovern stars as Lady

    Box Office: 'Downton Abbey' Dominating 'Ad Astra,' 'Rambo' With $31 Million Opening

    “Downton Abbey” is heading for a positively brilliant opening weekend after scoring $13.8 million in domestic ticket sales on Friday. If estimates hold, the feature film version of the popular British television show should take home approximately $31 million come Sunday, marking the biggest opening ever for distributor Focus Features and beating previous record holder [...]

  • Gully Boy to represent India in

    'Gully Boy' to Represent India In Oscars Race

    The Film Federation of India has chosen Zoya Akhtar’s “Gully Boy” as its entry in the Academy Awards’ international feature film category. The picture, a coming of age tale about an aspiring rapper in Mumbai’s Dharavi slum premiered at the Berlin film festival in February before opening to a wave of acclaim at home in [...]

  • Lucy-Lost

    Cartoon Forum: 30th Anniversary, Little Giants and New Generations

    TOULOUSE, France –  Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Cartoon Forum wrapped Sept. 19 having showcased the ever-growing strength of European animation. 85 projects were pitched from 24 countries at the co-production forum platform that played host to north of 1,000 investors, distributors and producers – a record number. Falling on French-speaking Belgium – Wallonie-Bruxelles – whose [...]

  • Renee Zellweger Rufus Wainwright Sam Smith

    Renée Zellweger: Judy Garland Was 'My Childhood Hero'

    Awards buzz is building around Renée Zellweger for her performance as Judy Garland, emerging as a frontrunner in the Oscar race for best actress. But for her, the real prize was paying tribute to Garland, of whom she’s been a lifelong fan. “Nobody was prettier, nobody sang prettier…the adventures she had, [she was] my childhood [...]

  • Topic Studios

    Layoffs Hit Topic Studios as TV Division Relocates to West Coast (EXCLUSIVE)

    A small round of layoffs has hit Topic Studios this week in the television division, insiders familiar with the company told Variety. One of the insiders said three executives at the New York-based producer and distributor are out: senior vice president of scripted programming and Viacom alum Lisa Leingang, vice president of development Mona Panchal [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content