- 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'
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 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 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 (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 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 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 election: PM Morrison’s security team in car crash in Tasmania
A car carrying the Australian prime minister’s security team has crashed in Tasmania during an election campaign visit.
Four police officers were taken to hospital with “non-life threatening injuries” after the car and another vehicle collided, authorities said.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison was not in the car, but the accident prompted him to cancel the rest of his campaign events on Thursday.
The other driver involved was not hurt.
Tasmania Police said initial investigations suggested the second car had “collided with the rear of the police vehicle, while attempting to merge”. It caused the unmarked security vehicle to roll off the road.
The two Tasmania Police officers and two Australian Federal Police officers were conscious when taken to hospital for medical assessment, the prime minister’s office said.
“Family members of the officers have been contacted and are being kept informed of their condition,” a statement said.
“The PM is always extremely grateful for the protection provided by his security team and extends his best wishes for their recovery and to their families.”
Australians go to the polls on 21 May. Mr Morrison – prime minister since 2018 – is hoping to win his conservative coalition’s fourth term in office.
Polls suggest the opposition Labor Party, led by Anthony Albanese, is favoured to win. However, Mr Morrison defied similar polling to claim victory at the last election in 2019.
Mr Morrison’s Liberal-National coalition holds 76 seats in the House of Representatives – the minimum needed to retain power.
Political observers say the cost of living, climate change, trust in political leaders, and national security will be among key issues in the campaign.
In recent weeks, the prime minister has faced accusations of being a bully and once sabotaging a rival’s career by suggesting the man’s Lebanese heritage made him less electable. Mr Morrison has denied the allegations.
Mr Albanese stumbled into his own controversy this week when he failed to recall the nation’s unemployment or interest rates.
Sydney airport warns delays could last weeks on third day of travel chaos
Long queues at Sydney airport’s domestic terminals have continued for a third day, with some passengers missing international connections, as the airport warns delays resulting from a surge in travellers and a shortfall in security staff could continue for weeks.
Chaotic scenes were reported in the departure halls as early as 4.30am on Saturday, with some frustrated travellers, many of whom heeded the pleas of airport chiefs to arrive at least two hours before their domestic flight was due to take off, claiming only one security line was operating.
While the queues that formed early on Saturday are understood to have cleared later in the morning, the airport apologised to affected travellers.
“Traffic numbers are picking up and the close contact rules are making it hard to fill shifts and staff the airport. We appreciate your patience,” Sydney airport said on its Twitter account.
A wave of families travelling as the term two school holidays begin this weekend, combined with close contact rules that are understood to be taking out about 20% of security shifts in any given day, are driving the problem.
Certis, the company that Sydney airport contracts for its security operations, is desperately trying to recruit personnel, while the airport has reallocated back office, IT and retail workers to the departure hall to comb queues so they can prioritise passengers at risk of missing their flight.
“We are working around the clock to resolve these issues and have teams in the terminals bringing passengers forward in order of priority,” a Sydney airport spokesperson said.
He added that the airport is “anticipating it will [be] busy right through the school holiday period and peak over the Easter and Anzac Day weekends, in some cases at 90% of pre-Covid passenger levels”.
“We’re deeply grateful to passengers for their ongoing patience and we’re sorry to everyone who has been inconvenienced,” the spokesperson said. “We would also like to thank passengers for getting to the airport early and treating staff and each other with kindness and respect.”
The Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce was forced to clarify comments he made on Friday that passengers were “not match fit” and that those forgetting to remove laptops and aerosols from their bags at the security check contributing to the delays.
“Just to be clear, I’m not ‘blaming’ passengers,” Joyce said. “Of course it’s not their fault,” he said.
Qantas shed thousands of staff during the pandemic, and outsourced ground crews in a decision that was challenged in court.
On Saturday, Qantas also apologised to a Melbourne family left stranded in Sydney, after domestic flight delays caused them to miss an international trip.
Javiera Martinez, her partner Daniel Capurro and their three children were supposed to be flying to Chile on Friday to visit relatives they had not seen in three years.
But after their 8am Qantas flight from Melbourne was delayed by half an hour, baggage handling and airport transfer delays in Sydney meant they couldn’t make their 11.30am LATAM Airlines flight to Santiago.
Martinez said the airline’s procedures at the airport were chaotic.
“We think Qantas didn’t behave appropriately. I got berated by the person at the counter – they never apologised, they never assumed any responsibility at all,” she said. “It was a rude conversation. We have been mistreated badly I would say.”
The PCR tests they need to travel have now expired and they will have to take them again as they wait for seats on the next flight to Santiago from Sunday.
The airline has apologised and paid for a night’s accommodation in Sydney.
“We sincerely apologise that the family missed their connecting flight on another airline due to delays moving through Sydney airport on Friday,” a Qantas spokesperson said.
The family is among many affected by hold ups amid the busiest travel period in two years, with Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane airports warning passengers to arrive two hours before domestic flights.
Grace Tame says caller ‘threatened’ against criticising PM
An Australian of the Year and sexual abuse survivor has said she received a “threatening” call warning her not to criticise the prime minister.
Grace Tame made the allegation in a speech on Wednesday, where she said she’d been called by a “senior member of a government-funded organisation”.
She added she was asked to promise not to say anything “damning” about Scott Morrison.
The government has denied knowledge of the call and said it will investigate.
On Tuesday, Mr Morrison made a formal apology to former political staffer Brittany Higgins more than a year after the young woman went public with the allegation that she had been raped by a male colleague in a ministerial office.
Her story sparked national anger, and an inquiry into parliament’s culture which found more than a third of workers had been sexually harassed.
Both Ms Higgins and Ms Tame have been heralded this past year for prompting a national conversation about abuse, power and gender inequality.
On Wednesday, the pair delivered a highly anticipated joint address at the National Press Club in Canberra.
Asked by journalists if she could name the threatening caller and their organisation, Ms Tame said: “if I was willing to name either, I would have put them in the speech”.
But she said the caller had been concerned about what she would say on the evening her successor as Australian of the Year was named.
She said the caller had described her as an “influential figure” and that Mr Morrison would “have a fear” about what she might say “with an election coming soon”. Australia is due to hold a general election before 21 May.
“Sound familiar to anyone? Well, it does to me,” Ms Tame said, before drawing a comparison with her former abuser – a teacher who had raped her as a child and pressured her to stay silent.
Mr Morrison’s office said it had not been aware of the call before Ms Tame’s speech, adding “the individual should apologise”.
“The PM and the government consider the actions and statements of the individual as unacceptable,” a spokesperson said.
But Ms Tame said launching a probe “misses the point entirely”.
“Stop deflecting, Scott. It’s not about the person who made the call. It’s the fact they felt like they had to do it at all,” she tweeted.
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