Why Kevin Spacey’s Bizarre Video Could Be Dangerous to His Future
Two experts explain why Kevin Spacey’s release of a recent, bizarre video on social media was ill-advised
On Monday, the 59-year-old actor posted a video to his social media accounts in which he seemed to be channeling his deceased House of Cards character, Frank Underwood, monologuing to the camera about how he knows his audience wants him back while also vaguely addressing the allegations of sexual misconduct against him.
“Some believed everything and have just been waiting with bated breath to hear me confess it all,” Spacey said in the video. “They’re just dying to have me declare that everything said is true and that I got what I deserved.”
“Wouldn’t that be easy if it was all so simple?” he continued. “Only you and I both know it’s never that simple, not in politics and not in life. … If I didn’t pay the price for the things we both know I did do, I’m certainly not going to pay the price for the things I didn’t do.”
Two outside experts tell PEOPLE that whatever Spacey’s strategy might have been in releasing the strange video, it was ill-advised.
“I’m as perplexed as everybody else about what he was trying to say and what he was trying to do with this odd and cryptic message,” says Howard Bragman, longtime crisis manager and founder of La Brea Media. “If one wants to say, ‘I’m innocent and I look forward to vindication in the court of law,’ then you should probably say that.”
Los Angeles-based attorney J Tooson considers Spacey’s video “a misguided attempt to clear his name.”
“While I understand how troubling these allegation may be to Mr. Spacey, he must allow his attorney to handle this in the courtroom,” Tooson explains. “I think there is a huge risk that this video can be portrayed in the wrong way. It could be portrayed as insensitive and ultimately have the exact opposite reaction than what Kevin was trying to accomplish.”
The video comes more than a year after multiple allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced against Spacey, including inappropriate sexual advances, sexual assault and battery. On Monday, the same day the video was posted, authorities in Massachusetts announced charges against Spacey for an alleged 2016 sexual assault of a teenage boy.
“Because it’s out there, it’s fair game in the court of law,” Bragman says of the possible legal ramifications of his video. “The classic ‘anything you say can and will be used against you’ — this is one of those cases.”
Adds Tooson: “Spacey has released a video that can be interpreted a number of different ways. It could also negatively provoke the district attorney — quite frankly, it may tick the district attorney off.”
“His court date is Jan. 7, so that is the start of the legal process running its course,” Tooson says. “Ultimately the facts will play out in a courtroom, but what you’ve done is create a media circus for this upcoming hearing.”
Tooson says that the video will likely not result in any conviction, but it’s “certainly not going to help [Spacey’s] cause.”
“Assume this goes to a jury trial: How are we going to find independent and impartial jurors who never saw this video, given the amount of traction and amount of views it’s gotten?” says Tooson. “Meaning that the narrative his lawyer might want to put forward at trial may be in opposition to this video.”
In November, Spacey entered a treatment facility. He has not been out in public since and was written off the final season of House of Cards. Robin Wright took the helm as the lead in Spacey’s absence.
Both experts agree that going forward, Spacey should remain silent and let his lawyers speak for him.
“The hardest thing that I have to do is convince people not to say anything,” says Bragman. “Many celebrities think they are charming and clever and they’re going to work their way out of this with a charm offensive, etc., and I have a saying which is ‘silence is golden, duct tape is silver.’
“Sometimes it’s just wise to shut up, and I think this is certainly one of those cases.”