Liam Neeson, Sharon Stone call for Kevin Spacey comeback

Several prominent stars are leading the counter-backlash to the Kevin Spacey backlash.

In statements to The Telegraph, Liam Neeson, Sharon Stone, F. Murray Abraham, and Stephen Fry have all voiced their support for the Usual Suspects star, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by over a dozen men since 2017.

Liam Neeson, Kevin Spacey, and Sharon Stone.

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The actors’ statements come in the wake of the Channel 4 documentary series Spacey Unmasked, which saw 10 men accuse the American Beauty actor of inappropriate behavior and aired in the U.K. on May 6 and 7. (The two-part series is now streaming on Max.)

Reps for Neeson, Stone, Abraham, and Fry did not immediately respond to Entertainment Weekly’s request for comment.

Spacey’s defenders noted that the actor has won two different lawsuits relating to his alleged victims’ accusations. In 2022, a New York jury found that Spacey was not liable in Anthony Rapp’s case against him, wherein Rapp accused the Superman Returns actor of battery in an alleged 1986 encounter when he was 14 and Spacey was 26. In 2023, a London jury found Spacey not guilty on all nine charges against him from four men who claimed the actor sexually assaulted them between 2001 and 2013.

Neeson said,  “I was deeply saddened to learn of these accusations against him. Kevin is a good man and a man of character. He’s sensitive, articulate and non-judgmental, with a terrific sense of humour. He is also one of our finest artists in the theatre and on camera. Personally speaking, our industry needs him and misses him greatly.”

Kevin Spacey and Sharon Stone.

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Stone said, “I can’t wait to see Kevin back at work. He is a genius. He is so elegant and fun, generous to a fault and knows more about our craft than most of us ever will.” She continued,  “It’s terrible that they are blaming him for not being able to come to terms with themselves for using him and negotiating with themselves because they didn’t get their secret agendas.”

Abraham opined, “I vouch for him unequivocally. Who are these vultures who attack a man who has publicly accepted his responsibility for certain behaviour, unlike so many others?” He also said, “He is a fine man, I stand with him, and let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” (Abraham himself was accused of sexual misconduct on the set of Mythic Quest, for which he publicly apologized after departing the show.)

Fry criticized Spacey Unmasked for its decision to “bracket [Spacey] with the likes of Harvey Weinstein” and “to continue to harass and hound him, to devote a whole documentary to accusations that simply do not add up to crimes… how can that be considered proportionate and justified?” He also said, “Surely it is wrong to continue to batter a reputation on the strength of assertion and rhetoric rather than evidence and proof?… Unless I’m missing something I think he has paid the price.”

Kevin Spacey.

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Last week, First Reformed filmmaker Paul Schrader expressed similar sentiments, saying that he would not consider working with Spacey if he was found guilty, but was exploring the possibility of collaborating with him on a Frank Sinatra biopic in the wake of his acquittal. “Cancel culture won’t let him go,” Schrader told Variety. “I would not use Kevin if he had been convicted. But he was not convicted.”

During his London trial last year, Elton John testified on Spacey’s behalf to corroborate his attendance (or lack thereof) at the singer’s White Tie and Tiara Balls in the early 2000s.

Other celebrities also offered their thoughts on Spacey when the allegations against him were first publicized. In 2017, Morrissey said, “If you’re in someone’s bedroom, you have to know where it could lead. That’s why I don’t find the whole thing very believable. It seems to me Spacey has been unnecessarily attacked.” 

In 2018, Dame Judi Dench called Spacey a “good friend.” “I don’t know about the conditions of it, but nevertheless he is, and was, a most wonderful actor. I can’t imagine what he is doing now,” she said. 

Since Rapp’s accusation in 2017, Spacey has appeared in four films: Once Upon a Time in Croatia, The Man Who Drew God, Control, and Peter Five Eight.