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Mena Suvari Shares ‘Weird’ Kevin Spacey Encounter On American Beauty Set

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 23 Jul 2021 14:39
Mena Suvari Shares 'Weird' Kevin Spacey Encounter On American Beauty Set PA/DreamWorks Pictures

Actor Mena Suvari said she thought of her ‘weird’ encounter with Kevin Spacey on the day sexual abuse allegations against him surfaced. 

Suvari worked with Spacey on the 1999 film American Beauty, in which Spacey’s character developed an infatuation with his on-screen daughter’s friend.

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Nearly two decades on from the film’s release, several people came forward alleging that Spacey had sexually assaulted them. One of his accusers, Anthony Rapp, claimed to have been 14 years old at the time of the incident.

Kevin Spacey (PA)PA Images

Spacey later issued a statement saying that he was ‘horrified’ to hear Rapp’s story, and claimed he didn’t recall the encounter he was referring to. While he couldn’t remember the incident, Rapp’s coming-forward sparked Spacey’s decision to come out as gay.

Rapp later sued Spacey, as did another of his unnamed accusers. As of May this year, it appeared as if Spacey was set to evade the $40 million sexual assault suit if the unnamed accuser refused to identify themselves, Deadline reported.

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Three years on from the allegations first surfacing, former co-star Suvari said she ‘trusted’ Spacey while filming American Beauty, but recalled a particular ‘weird and unusual’ encounter with him.

Speaking to PEOPLE, Suvari recalled a scene where she was led on a bed with the now-61-year-old, where they were ‘very close to one another’.

American Beauty (DreamWorks)DreamWorks Pictures

‘He was sort of gently holding me,’ Suvari explained. ‘It was very peaceful but weird and unusual.’

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The American Pie actor said she ‘thought of that day’ when she heard the news of the assault allegations, and that her ‘heart goes out to anyone who suffers abuse’.

In her new memoir The Great Peace: A Memoir, Suvari details the sexual abuse she experienced when growing up, and how she found comfort in acting.

Discussing the success of American Beauty, she said, ‘It was a beautiful experience, being given the opportunity to work and express myself right when I needed to save me.’

Mena Suvari (PA)PA Images
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Suvari hopes that her memoir will help other survivors of sexual abuse.

She told PEOPLE, ‘This is my truth. This is my voice. I was so tired of fighting and hiding my whole life. I hope I can help someone else see their value. If I can lessen the pain for someone else, then I want to do it, because I didn’t have that person.’

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, you can contact Victim Support free on 08 08 16 89 111 available 24/7, every day of the year, including Christmas.

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Celebrity, Film and TV, no-article-matching

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PEOPLE and 1 other
  1. PEOPLE

    Mena Suvari Recalls a 'Weird and Unusual' Encounter with Kevin Spacey on American Beauty Set

  2. Deadline

    Kevin Spacey Set To Evade $40M Sexual Assault Suit Unless Accuser Reveals Identity