House of Cards staff accuse Spacey of sexual assault and harassment

A production assistant who worked on Netflix hit House of Cards has accused Kevin Spacey of sexually assaulting him during one of the show's early seasons, while other staff members have described the star's behaviour on set as "predatory".

The explosive claims were made to CNN by eight people who worked on the series on condition of anonymity because they feared the professional repercussions of speaking out, CNN reports.

Among the new accusations against Spacey, which included claims of "non-consensual touching" and "crude comments", were allegations from a production assistant who said Spacey put his hands down the assistant's pants after he had driven the actor from an offsite location to the show's Baltimore set. Later that same day, Spacey cornered him in his trailer and "made inappropriate contact" with him, the assistant said.

"I was in a state of shock," the assistant told CNN. "He was a man in a very powerful position on the show and I was someone very low on the totem pole and on the food chain there."

The assistant says he told Spacey "I don't think I'm ok with this", at which point the actor became "visibly flustered" and fled the set for the remainder of the day.

He says the alleged incident happened months after he'd complained to his supervisor about Spacey's behaviour. "The supervisor's solution was never to let the production assistant be alone with Spacey when they were on set," CNN reports.

"I have no doubt that this type of predatory behaviour was routine for him and that my experience was one of many and that Kevin had few if any qualms about exploiting his status and position," the assistant told CNN.

"It was a toxic environment for young men who had to interact with him at all in the crew, cast, background actors."

Another crew member told CNN that Spacey would routinely touch him, including massaging his shoulders from behind.

In a statement to CNN, Netflix said they had just been "made aware of one incident, five years ago, that we were informed was resolved swiftly", and that they were "not aware of any other incidents involving Kevin Spacey on-set."

They added: "We continue to collaborate with MRC [the show's production company] and other production partners to maintain a safe and respectful working environment."

The streaming giant suspended production on House of Cards earlier this week; they also announced its sixth season would be its last.

The accusations are the latest levelled at Spacey since Monday, when actor Anthony Rapp, 46, accused the star of making a "sexual advance" towards him when he was 14.

Since then, at least three men have accused Spacey of sexual harassment, ranging from the actor's time in the New York theatre in the early '80s to his stint as artistic director at London's Old Vic from 2004 to 2015.

A representative for the actor said on Thursday that Spacey was "taking the time necessary to seek evaluation and treatment" in the wake of the allegations.

This story House of Cards staff accuse Spacey of sexual assault and harassment first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.