LONDON: Kevin Spacey's once glittering career was hanging by a thread Friday, with the star reportedly under investigation for sexual assault in Britain, accused of attempting to rape a 15-year-old boy and of harassing men on the set of "House of Cards."
The double Oscar winner is now fully embroiled in Hollywood's widening sexual misconduct scandal, with a string of men coming forward to allege unwanted attentions, two of them claiming they were as young as 14 at the time.
British police confirmed Friday that they had opened an investigation into an allegation of sexual assault from a man in 2008, although officers never identify the subject of an inquiry unless and until they are charged.
"Officers from the Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command are investigating," said a spokesman for London's Metropolitan Police, giving no further details. British media said Spacey was the object of the inquiry.
His publicist and talent agency confirmed they had dropped him, and Spacey has made no public comment other than declaring that he was "beyond horrified" by the first allegation from actor Anthony Rapp, which he claimed not to remember.
"Kevin Spacey is taking the time necessary to seek evaluation and treatment. No other information is available," his now ex-publicist has been quoted as saying.
It was a stunning fall for an actor, who chilled and thrilled audiences in equal measure in roles such as corrupt US president Frank Underwood in "House of Cards," a midlife-crisis-ridden father in "American Beauty" and as a serial killer in "Seven."
Eight people who worked on "House of Cards" -- the hit series whose future hangs in the balance after being suspended indefinitely -- told CNN that the actor made the set a "toxic" work environment through a pattern of sexual harassment.
Netflix and the show's production company, MRC, said they had been aware of only one incident, in 2012, when a crew member lodged a complaint against Spacey, but said that immediate action had been taken.
Netflix had already announced that the upcoming sixth season of the show, which had been due to air in 2018, would be its last. But the future was murky.
"We will continue to work with (producers) MRC during this hiatus time to evaluate our path forward as it relates to the production, and have nothing further to share at this time," the subscription channel said on Thursday.
- 'Sexual predator' -
MRC said it was "deeply troubled" by the latest allegations, had implemented a complaint hotline and offered crisis counselors and legal advisors to the crew, and would "thoroughly investigate" all claims formally brought to its attention.
Rapp opened the floodgates by saying that Spacey made a "sexual advance" when he was 14-years-old 31 years ago at his New York apartment.
Vulture published allegations from a 48-year-old artist living on the East Coast, who said he began a sexual relationship with Spacey when he was 14, which ended when the actor, then 24, allegedly tried to rape him when he was 15 years old.
"I would call him a pedophile and a sexual predator," the man told the website, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Mexican actor Roberto Cavazos also claimed he fended off two "unpleasant" advances that "bordered on harassment" while at The Old Vic, the London theater where Spacey was artistic director from 2003-15.
"It seems the only requirement was to be a male under the age of 30 for Mr Spacey to feel free to touch us," he wrote in a post on Facebook. "It wouldn't surprise me if there were similar numbers to Weinstein's."
Since early October close to 100 women have accused the disgraced Hollywood producer of misconduct ranging from harassment to rape, unleashing a torrent of accusations against a growing list of rich and powerful men from politics to the art world.
Weinstein has denied any non-consensual relations. His career lies in ruins, and he is also subject to police investigations in London, Los Angeles and New York.
In London, The Old Vic has been accused of covering up allegations of groping and inappropriate sexual behavior by Spacey.
"We were all involved in keeping it quiet. I witnessed him groping men many times in all sorts of different situations," one told The Guardian newspaper.
The Old Vic was "not currently in a position to comment on specifics," it said. It previously announced setting up an email address where "anyone" with concerns about "inappropriate behavior" by Spacey can come forward.