Actor Kevin Spacey broke down in tears as he revealed his father was a white supremacist and neo-Nazi and it is the reason he waited until 58 to come out as Gay, a New York courtroom heard.
He disclosed this as he denied accusations that he made unwanted sexual advances toward actor Anthony Rapp when the latter was a teenager while taking the stand in the civil court case in New York.
Spacey, 63, said whilst he was as a child, his father, Thomas Fowler, would call him a ‘f****t’ while lecturing him for ‘hours and hours’ about his racist and homophobic beliefs.
An emotional Spacey, giving an unprecedented view into his private life as he wiped away tears, told the court that his father’s rants led him to hate bigotry and intolerance.
The House of Cards actor said it was ‘terrifying’ to consider bringing his school friends home because he was ‘terrified’ about what his father, who died on Christmas Eve 1992 aged 68, would say.
Spacey, choking up, said that when he became interested in theatre, he endured the screams of Mr Fowler, a failed writer, who ‘used to yell at me at the idea that I might be gay.’
Spacey said he did not come out as gay publicly for years because his upbringing made him believe you should ‘never ever, ever talk about anything.’
He told the New York courtroom: ‘I grew up in a very complicated family dynamic. My father was unemployed a great deal of the time so therefore he was home a lot of the time.
‘My father fell in with some ideas and people that I believe damaged his mind and sensibility and my father was a white supremacist and neo-Nazi.
‘It meant we were forced to listen to hours and hours and hours of lectures about his beliefs and ideas.’
Spacey said it was these lectures that were the basis of his ‘hatred of bigotry and intolerance.’
He said: ‘I was humiliated and terrified of even considering bringing my friends home to my house because I was afraid of what my friends would say.
‘My best friend was Jewish. I couldn’t bring him to my house. Everything that was happening at that house was something I felt I had to keep to myself, keep private and never ever talk about anything.’
Spacey told the jury about his early life being born in New Jersey then moving to California when he was three years old.
His mother, Kathleen Fowler, worked as a secretary and was the breadwinner but they moved nine or 10 times by the time Spacey was 11.
His acting interest was piqued by his mother who ‘loved music and movies’ and introduced Spacey to movie stars of the 1930s, 40s and 50s.
He discovered he had an ‘ear for impressions’ and said that making his mother laugh was ‘one of the greatest sounds I have ever heard.’
Spacey’s friend Val Kilmer also pushed him to take up acting, Spacey said.
The actor, who came out as gay in 2017, said he didn’t do it sooner because of his childhood.
He said: ‘I grew up in a situation as a child where I wasn’t comfortable talking about these things. My father used to yell at me about the idea I might be gay because I was interested in the theatre.
‘My father used to scream at me don’t be a F-word that is very derogatory to the gay community. It was very disturbing for me because I was beginning to discover my own sexuality. I think I had a degree of shame but I think also I wanted people to remember the characters I was playin and not to know too much about me.
‘That’s my reasoning, I was protecting the work.’