A former Boston TV news anchor claims Kevin Spacey sexually assaulted her then 18-year-old son at a Nantucket bar in July 2016.
Heather Unruh detailed the alleged incident during a press conference in Boston on Wednesday with her lawyer Mitchell Garabedian, who is best known for representing the victims of the 2002 Boston archdiocese sex abuse scandal. Representatives for Spacey did not immediately return PEOPLE’s request for comment in regards to Unruh’s allegations.
The press conference came almost a month after Unruh first tweeted that Spacey, 58, had assaulted a loved one of hers. Unruh said she decided to speak out after the Harvey Weinstein scandal came to light, with multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, harassment and assault surfacing in bombshell reports by The New York Times and The New Yorker.
“In July of 2016, actor Kevin Spacey sexually assaulted my son,” said Unruh on Wednesday. “It happened late night, inside the Club Car restaurant and bar on Nantucket Island. The victim, my son, was a star-struck, straight, 18-year-old young man who had no idea that the famous actor was an alleged sexual predator, or that he was about to become his next victim.”
Unruh said her son told Spacey he was of legal drinking age.
“Whether he was over 21 or not, Kevin Spacey had no right to sexually assault him,” she said. “There was no consent. Kevin Spacey bought him drink after drink after drink, and when my son was drunk, Spacey made his move and sexually assaulted him.”
“I want to make it clear: This was a criminal act,” she continued. “The room at the Club Car was very crowded, it was dimly lit. Spacey stuck his hand inside my son’s pants and grabbed his genitals. This was completely unexpected and my son’s efforts to shift his body to remove Spacey’s hand were only momentarily successful. The violation continued. My son panicked, he froze.”
Unruh alleged that Spacey insisted her “intoxicated” son come with him to a “private, after-hours party.”
“Fortunately, Kevin Spacey left briefly to use the bathroom, and when he was out of sight, a concerned woman quickly came to my very shaken son’s side and asked if he was okay,” she said. “Obviously she had seen something and she knew that he was not. She told him to run, and he did. He ran as fast as he could, all the way to his grandmother’s house, where upset and afraid, he woke his sister … and the two of them called me in the middle of the night, here at my Boston area home. The next morning I joined my family on Nantucket.”
Unruh said her son chose not to report the alleged incident to police at the time out of fear and embarrassment. However, she said she spoke to the Nantucket Sheriff herself and the two had “a long conversation so that he knew about the incident.”
“He very much wanted my son to come forward and report it, but as I said … with victims of assault, it’s a very difficult thing, “she said. “It’s a difficult hurdle to get over.”
Unruh said that last week, her son filed a police report and handed over evidence to the Nantucket police. Unruh claimed that a criminal investigation has begun.
A Nantucket police spokesman tells PEOPLE they “cannot confirm nor deny any such report was filed.”
“Reports of sexual assaults are confidential under [state law],” the spokesman says.
A spokeswoman for The Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office, which represents Nantucket, tells PEOPLE, “An individual has provided information to the Nantucket Police regarding an allegation of an indecent assault and battery. The individual is represented by an attorney. We are waiting to hear from him.”
She confirms the indecent assault and battery allegation is against Spacey.
“Nothing could have prepared my son for how that sexual assault would make him feel as a man. It harmed him, and it cannot be undone. He has tried his best to deal with it. As he says, it’s always there and it continues to bother him,” Unruh said Wednesday. “Right now my son is worried, but he’s also confident that the time to act is now.”
Unruh’s story comes amid multiple allegations that the actor has made unwanted sexual advances towards young men over the years. The first allegation came to light after Star Trek: Discovery and Rent star Anthony Rapp, 46, claimed in an Oct. 29 BuzzFeed News report that Spacey made inappropriate sexual advances toward him at a private party in New York City in 1986. Spacey was 26 at the time, and Rapp was 14.
“I came forward with my story, standing on the shoulders of the many courageous women and men who have been speaking out, to shine a light and hopefully make a difference, as they have done for me,” Rapp said in a statement to PEOPLE.
In response to the report, Spacey tweeted a statement saying he didn’t remember Rapp’s alleged incident and apologized “for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior.” He also publicly came out as gay, which was met with criticism from prominent LGBTQ celebrities.
“To Kevin Spacey I want to say this: Shame on you for what you did to my son and shame on you for using your apology to Anthony Rapp to come out as a gay man,” said Unruh on Wednesday. “That was an appalling attempt to deflect attention away from what you really are: a sexual predator.”
Spacey has not issued a response to any of the allegations beyond Rapp. Last week, a representative for the actor confirmed he was seeking treatment.
“Kevin Spacey is taking the time necessary to seek evaluation and treatment,” said the representative in a statement. “No other information will be available at this time.”
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“Netflix will not be involved with any further production of House of Cards that includes Kevin Spacey,” a rep for the network says in a statement to PEOPLE last week. “We will continue to work with [production company] MRC during this hiatus time to evaluate our path forward as it relates to the show. We have also decided we will not be moving forward with the release of the film Gore, which was in post-production, starring and produced by Kevin Spacey.”
After Netflix issued the ultimatum, they released a new statement to PEOPLE saying the actor had been suspended.
“While we continue the ongoing investigation into the serious allegations concerning Kevin Spacey’s behavior on the set of House of Cards, he has been suspended, effective immediately,” the statement read. “MRC, in partnership with Netflix, will continue to evaluate a creative path forward for the program during the hiatus.”
This development came hours after Variety reported that producers are considering killing off Spacey’s character in the show’s sixth and final season. Spacey is also an executive producer on the series.