The Old Vic has announced the conclusions of its investigation into Kevin Spacey's conduct during his time as artistic director of the theatre between 2004 and 2015.
In response to several allegations, an official investigation was opened and an external law firm was engaged. A confidential email was set up for people to report incidents and 56 responses were received. Twenty of the respondents – all of whom were male – had personal allegations regarding the actor's inappropriate behaviour. Sixteen of the 20 were former staff, and none were audience members. Lawyers recommended that 14 of the individuals contact the police about the incidents, three of which had already done so.
The level of allegations ranged from making people feel uncomfortable to sexually inappropriate behaviour – there were no allegations of rape.
The theatre said it has not verified any of the allegations, and that Spacey had not commented on them. They go on to say that no legal claims, grievances, disputes or settlement agreements were made in relation to Spacey during his tenure at the venue, and that the trustees were unaware of the allegations. According to the investigation, only one of the allegations was raised formally with management at the time.
The statement suggested that Spacey's status as a Hollywood star may have prevented people from coming forward at the time, also blaming a lack of non-formal and confidential mechanism for reporting incidents.
Lawyer Richard Miskella said: "The conclusion was that there wasn't widespread knowledge about this. We haven't found that evidence at all. There were pockets of the Old Vic in which suspicion was greater than others. But it wasn't escalated... A consistent message didn't occur."
In a statement released today, The Old Vic apologised for 'not creating an environment or culture where people felt able to speak freely' and announced steps to create a safer working environment at the venue, which they call 'a new Way Forward'. As well as refocused guidance and training, this will include the appointment of 'Guardians' from across the organisation to champion best practice, and act as a first point of contact for those who don't want to reach out through formal channels.
A victim support counselling service will continue to be open at all times for the next 12 months for anyone affected by the allegations.
Matthew Warchus, artistic director of The Old Vic said: "I have genuine and deep sympathy for all those who have come forward and said they were hurt in some way by my predecessor's actions. Everyone is entitled to work in an environment free from harassment and intimidation. The Old Vic is now actively engaged in the process of healing and the process of prevention.
"These allegations have been a shock and a disturbing surprise to many of us. It is incorrect, unfair and irresponsible to say that everybody knew. But as a result of the investigation, what we have learnt is how better to call out this behaviour in future."
"These findings will help not only The Old Vic but our industry as a whole, as together we rapidly evolve an intelligent new standard of protection and support in and around the workplace. We are committed to a new way forward."
Anyone with a complaint about Kevin Spacey's behaviour can still contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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