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Old Vic accused of turning a blind eye at Kevin Spacey

London theatre has been accused of ignoring allegations against Kevin Spacey Mexican actor Robert Ca..

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  • London theatre has been accused of ignoring allegations against Kevin Spacey
  • Mexican actor Robert Cavazos said Spacey would 'routinely' prey on young men
  • One worker said she was 'sickened that the theatre chose to plead ignorance'

By Gareth Davies and Amie Gordon For Mailonline

Published: 05:06 EDT, 2 November 2017 | Updated: 05:22 EDT, 2 November 2017

The Old Vic theatre has been accused of 'pleading ignorance' to inappropriate sexual behaviour by Kevin Spacey during his 11-year reign as its artistic director.

A number of actors and staff members claim the renowned theatre in London 'turned a blind eye' to allegations of groping and sordid behaviour by the Hollywood actor.

This comes after three actors came forward claiming they were sexually assaulted by the star while he was artistic director at The Old Vic.

A number of staff members and actors have accused The Old Vic theatre in London of 'pleading ignorance' to the behaviour of Kevin Spacey, its former artistic director

A number of staff members and actors have accused The Old Vic theatre in London of 'pleading ignorance' to the behaviour of Kevin Spacey, its former artistic director

A former employee told the Guardian: 'We were all involved in keeping it quiet. I witnessed him groping men many times in all sorts of different situations'

People who worked at the theatre while Spacey was there as its chief have lifted the lid on his sordid aftershow parties in a series of interviews exclusive to MailOnline.

His former colleagues including actors and a stage manager told MailOnline how he would pick a young man he liked the look of.

A former stage manager at the Old Vic, who spoke to MailOnline on condition of anonymity, worked for 40 years in the industry and his time overlapped with Spacey's at the capital city venue.

He said: 'In the West End, everybody knew. You hear people coming out saying it's a total shock and it really cheeses me off.

'I'm only the little man who doesn't have any chance and he (Spacey) can't be touched.

'They would never work again if they said anything. That's how it was for 20 years.

'The Old Vic is and was an iconic, prestigious building. People would hang around there because they knew who was inside.'

And Lisa McKeown, an actress who used to work at the Old Vic box office, said she was happy victims were coming forward, saying he 'used his position to take advantage of men in their late teens and early 20s'.

People who worked at the theatre while Spacey was there as its chief have lifted the lid on his sordid aftershow parties in a series of interviews exclusive to MailOnlinePeople who worked at the theatre while Spacey was there as its chief have lifted the lid on his sordid aftershow parties in a series of interviews exclusive to MailOnline

People who worked at the theatre while Spacey was there as its chief have lifted the lid on his sordid aftershow parties in a series of interviews exclusive to MailOnline

'I remember saying something to a peer at the Old Vic when I was taking part in a writing workshop there and I got told to be quiet as it could affect my career,' she said.

'I worked at The Old Vic and the professional image he presents to the media and cameras is nothing like the rude, arrogant and aggressive man I dealt with.'

Robert Cavazos said Spacey tried to fondle him against his will at a bar at the Old Vic where the House of Cards star was artistic director between 2004 and 2015.

Mexican actor Cavazos said Spacey would routinely invite young male actors for a champagne picnic on the theatre stage, but that he refused the advances.

He said: 'It was more common for this guy, when he was in the bar of his theatre, grabbing whoever caught his attention. I didn't stand for it, but I know some people who were afraid to stop it.'

Robert Cavazos said Spacey tried to fondle him against his will at a bar at the Old VicRobert Cavazos said Spacey tried to fondle him against his will at a bar at the Old VicLisa McKeown, an actress who used to work at the Old Vic box office, said she was happy victims were coming forward, saying he 'used his position to take advantage of men in their late teens and early 20sLisa McKeown, an actress who used to work at the Old Vic box office, said she was happy victims were coming forward, saying he 'used his position to take advantage of men in their late teens and early 20s

Robert Cavazos (left) said Spacey tried to fondle him against his will at a bar at the Old Vic, while Lisa McKeown (right) an actress who used to work at the Old Vic box office, said he 'used his position to take advantage of men in their late teens and early 20s

The Old Vic is now preparing to launch its own internal investigation into Spacey's behaviour during his tenureThe Old Vic is now preparing to launch its own internal investigation into Spacey's behaviour during his tenure

The Old Vic is now preparing to launch its own internal investigation into Spacey's behaviour during his tenure

Kevin Spacey has been accused of using The Pit Bar under The Old Vic to procure young men in an exchange for roles in his playsKevin Spacey has been accused of using The Pit Bar under The Old Vic to procure young men in an exchange for roles in his plays

Kevin Spacey has been accused of using The Pit Bar under The Old Vic to procure young men in an exchange for roles in his plays

A former actress told MailOnline that Spacey had even tried to curb his inappropriate behaviour to keep an eye on him when he got drunk.

The Old Vic has set up a confidential tip line where those close to the theatre can make retrospective complaints – here's how

If you have been connected with The Old Vic or in our employment and feel you have a complaint that you were unable to raise, please contact us on [email protected]

Any experience shared will be treated in the utmost confidence and with sensitivity.

We have appointed external advisors to help us deal with any information received.

She said: 'In London I've heard he had a wrangler at the Old Vic – an assistant – who was in charge of making sure he went home after too many drinks which is when he got 'handsy'.'

Another actor, Chris New, mirrored the allegations, saying that Spacey's antics were an open secret in the West End.

He admitted being abused himself by an acting teacher and said: 'Kevin Spacey's behaviour has been an open secret in the London theatre scene from the day he took over the Old Vic. Everyone knew.'

The Old Vic is now preparing to launch its own internal investigation into Spacey's behaviour during his tenure.

In a statement, The Old Vic said: 'We are deeply dismayed to hear the allegations levied against Kevin Spacey, who was Artistic Director from 2004–2015.

'Inappropriate behaviour by anyone working at The Old Vic is completely unacceptable. We aim to foster a safe and supportive environment without prejudice, harassment or bullying of any sort, at any level, as set out in our joint statement with the theatre industry on 23 October.

'We want our employees to feel confident, valued and proud to be part of The Old Vic family. Any behaviour we become aware of which contravenes these goals will not be tolerated.'

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Australia

Sydney seaplane crash: Exhaust fumes affected pilot, report confirms

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The pilot of a seaplane that crashed into an Australian river, killing all on board, had been left confused and disorientated by leaking exhaust fumes, investigators have confirmed.

The Canadian pilot and five members of a British family died in the crash north of Sydney in December 2017.

All were found to have higher than normal levels of carbon monoxide in their blood, a final report has found.

It recommended the mandatory fitting of gas detectors in all such planes.

British businessman Richard Cousins, 58, died alongside his 48-year-old fiancée, magazine editor Emma Bowden, her 11-year-old daughter Heather and his sons, Edward, 23, and William, 25, and pilot Gareth Morgan, 44. Mr Cousins was the chief executive of catering giant Compass.

The family had been on a sightseeing flight in the de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver plane when it nose-dived into the Hawkesbury River at Jerusalem Bay, about 50km (30 miles) from the city centre.

The final report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) confirmed the findings of an interim report published in 2020.

It said pre-existing cracks in the exhaust collector ring were believed to have released exhaust gas into the engine bay. Holes left by missing bolts in a firewall then allowed the fumes to enter the cabin.

“As a result, the pilot would have almost certainly experienced effects such as confusion, visual disturbance and disorientation,” the report said.

“Consequently, it was likely that this significantly degraded the pilot’s ability to safely operate the aircraft.”

The ATSB recommended the Civil Aviation Safety Authority consider mandating the fitting of carbon monoxide detectors in piston-engine aircraft that carry passengers.

It previously issued safety advisory notices to owners and operators of such aircraft that they install detectors “with an active warning” to pilots”. Operators and maintainers of planes were also advised to carry out detailed inspections of exhaust systems and firewalls.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55862128

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Australia

Australia unlikely to fully reopen border in 2021, says top official

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Australia is unlikely to fully open its borders in 2021 even if most of its population gets vaccinated this year as planned, says a senior health official.

The comments dampen hopes raised by airlines that travel to and from the country could resume as early as July.

Department of Health Secretary Brendan Murphy made the prediction after being asked about the coronavirus’ escalation in other nations.

Dr Murphy spearheaded Australia’s early action to close its borders last March.

“I think that we’ll go most of this year with still substantial border restrictions,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Monday.

“Even if we have a lot of the population vaccinated, we don’t know whether that will prevent transmission of the virus,” he said, adding that he believed quarantine requirements for travellers would continue “for some time”.

Citizens, permanent residents and those with exemptions are allowed to enter Australia if they complete a 14-day hotel quarantine at their own expense.

Qantas – Australia’s national carrier – reopened bookings earlier this month, after saying it expected international travel to “begin to restart from July 2021.”

However, it added this depended on the Australian government’s deciding to reopen borders.

Australia’s tight restrictions

The country opened a travel bubble with neighbouring New Zealand late last year, but currently it only operates one-way with inbound flights to Australia.

Australia has also discussed the option of travel bubbles with other low-risk places such as Taiwan, Japan and Singapore.

A vaccination scheme is due to begin in Australia in late February. Local authorities have resisted calls to speed up the process, giving more time for regulatory approvals.

Australia has so far reported 909 deaths and about 22,000 cases, far fewer than many nations. It reported zero locally transmitted infections on Monday.

Experts have attributed much of Australia’s success to its swift border lockdown – which affected travellers from China as early as February – and a hotel quarantine system for people entering the country.

Local outbreaks have been caused by hotel quarantine breaches, including a second wave in Melbourne. The city’s residents endured a stringent four-month lockdown last year to successfully suppress the virus.

Other outbreaks – including one in Sydney which has infected about 200 people – prompted internal border closures between states, and other restrictions around Christmas time.

The state of Victoria said on Monday it would again allow entry to Sydney residents outside of designated “hotspots”, following a decline in cases.

While the measures have been praised, many have also criticised them for separating families across state borders and damaging businesses.

Dr Murphy said overall Australia’s virus response had been “pretty good” but he believed the nation could have introduced face masks earlier and improved its protections in aged care homes.

In recent days, Australia has granted entry to about 1,200 tennis players, staff and officials for the Australian Open. The contingent – which has recorded at least nine infections – is under quarantine.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55699581

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Australia

Covid: Brisbane to enter three-day lockdown over single infection

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The Australian city of Brisbane has begun a snap three-day lockdown after a cleaner in its hotel quarantine system became infected with coronavirus.

Health officials said the cleaner had the highly transmissible UK variant and they were afraid it could spread.

Brisbane has seen very few cases of the virus beyond quarantined travellers since Australia’s first wave last year.

It is the first known instance of this variant entering the Australian community outside of hotel quarantine.

The lockdown is for five populous council areas in Queensland’s state capital.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the measure on Friday morning local time, about 16 hours after the woman tested positive.

Ms Palaszczuk said the lockdown aimed to halt the virus as rapidly as possible, adding: “Doing three days now could avoid doing 30 days in the future.”

“I think everybody in Queensland… knows what we are seeing in the UK and other places around the world is high rates of infection from this particular strain,” she said.

“And we do not want to see that happening here in our great state.”

Australia has reported 28,500 coronavirus infections and 909 deaths since the pandemic began. By contrast, the US, which is the hardest-hit country, has recorded more than 21 million infections while nearly 362,000 people have died of the disease.The lockdown will begin at 18:00 on Friday (08:00 GMT) in the Brisbane city, Logan and the Ipswich, Moreton and Redlands local government areas.

Residents will only be allowed to leave home for certain reasons, such as buying essential items and seeking medical care.

For the first time, residents in those areas will also be required to wear masks outside of their homes.

Australia has faced sporadic outbreaks over the past year, with the most severe one in Melbourne triggering a lockdown for almost four months.

A pre-Christmas outbreak in Sydney caused fresh alarm, but aggressive testing and contact-tracing has kept infection numbers low. The city recorded four local cases on Friday.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government has pledged to start mass vaccinations in February instead of March as was planned.

Lockdown interrupts ‘near normal’ life in Brisbane

Simon Atkinson, BBC News in Brisbane

At 8:00 today I popped to the local supermarket for some bread, milk – and because it’s summer here – a mango. I was pretty much the only customer.

When I went past the same shop a couple of hours later it was a different story – 50 people standing in the drizzle – queuing to get inside as others emerged with bulging shopping bags. “Heaps busier than Christmas,” a cheery trolley attendant told me. “It’s off the scale”.

Despite the “don’t panic” messages from authorities, pictures on social media show it’s a pattern being repeated across the city.

While shutdowns are common around the world, the tough and sudden stay-at-home order for Brisbane has caught people on the hop here after months of near normality.

But while such a rapid, hard lockdown off the back of just a single case of Covid-19 will seem crazy in some parts of the world, I’ve not come across too many people complaining.

And I don’t think that’s just because Aussies love to follow a rule. This is the first time the UK variant of the virus has been detected in the community in Australia.

And nobody here wants Brisbane to go through what Melbourne suffered last year. Even if it means going without mangoes.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55582836

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