The actor has since denied the sexual assault allegations

By Eric Todisco
July 15, 2020 02:23 PM
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Credit: Monica Schipper/FilmMagic

Kevin Connolly has been accused of sexually assaulting a costume designer during a December 2005 wrap party in Manhattan.

Gracie Cox, a former assistant costume designer, alleged in a new report by the Daily Beast that the Entourage star, 46, sexually assaulted her during a wrap party for his directorial debut with The Gardener of Eden. Cox said that before the incident, Connolly often flirted with her and singled her out several times on set throughout filming.

Connolly disputes her account in the same article, saying they had a mutual flirtation that culminated in a consensual sexual act.

"We were at the party and I don’t think I’d been there for more than an hour or so when Kevin [Connolly] approached me and asked if I’d go with him for a smoke,” said Cox, who was 29 at the time.

Cox, who said she was a bit tipsy at that point, claimed that Connolly "led me down a hall to what I guess was the VIP lounge area."

"As soon as we were alone in that area, he started to kiss me," she claimed. "I didn’t know how to respond—but before I could even think about what to do about it, he pulled me into one of these little side [booths], and pulled down my pants, and turned me around, and within no time was inside of me. I was just in shock.”

Kevin Connolly
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The South Carolina native said there was "not really a chance in my mind to object or resist."

"It just happened really fast," she said. "I froze and was in shock. Nothing like that had ever happened to me before in any way, shape or form. I was completely caught off-guard.”

Connolly has denied Cox's allegations via his lawyer, Marty Singer, in a statement to the Daily Beast, claiming that the sexual encounter was "consensual."

"Kevin strongly supports victims of sexual assault and believes their claims should always be heard. As someone who has worked in this industry for four decades, he has treated people with nothing but respect and has maintained a stellar reputation. Therefore, he was completely shocked to learn of the allegations made by Gracie Cox from a wrap party in 2005," the statement read. "The incident with Ms. Cox was consensual, and he categorically denies any claim that it was assault. When they returned to the wrap party, Gracie’s boss, Amy Westcott, learned of what occurred and expressed her disappointment to both. Gracie shared with Kevin that she was embarrassed after getting in trouble with Amy, the head of the costume department. According to IMDB, it doesn’t appear that Gracie and Amy worked together on a project since then."

"Amy and Kevin continued to work together for two more years on Entourage, and a few years later Amy recommended her assistant to work with Kevin on another job. Kevin completely understands Amy’s displeasure with the consensual act that transpired between Kevin and Gracie 15 years ago, after production had wrapped and they were no longer working together on the movie. Kevin acknowledges the lack of professionalism on his part, but he adamantly denies that it was anything other than a mutual consensual encounter."

Connolly's lawyer has not yet responded to PEOPLE's request for comment. Cox also did not respond.

Kevin Connolly
| Credit: Gregory Pace/Filmmagic

In the Daily Beast report, Cox said she is no longer afraid to speak out against Connolly, despite that the actor's "reach is very far" in Hollywood.

"The people he knows have a lot of power," Cox said, adding, "I want it to be known that he is dangerous."

"I want him to not get away with it any longer," she said.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to online.rainn.org.