Thursday, February 22, 2024

Flashback: Kevin Spacey’s Family Secrets Included a Neo-Nazi Father, Porn and Sexual Molestation

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Flashback to April 28, 2004: I wrote this column about Kevin Spacey’s tortured family background. Every single press person knew Spacey was also gay back in 2004, but it was open secret. Spacey was also just creepy, which didn’t make things any easier.

Here’s the 13 year old column:

Years ago I was told by a confidant of two-time Oscar winner Kevin Spacey that his father, Thomas Geoffrey Fowler, had been a member of the American Nazi party.

“He had Nazi memorabilia everywhere, and was completely devoted to the party,” said the source.

Spacey, the source said, had made this shocking revelation during his early years on Broadway when he appeared in “Lost in Yonkers.”

It was fascinating because close-mouthed, secretive Spacey — whose premiere party for “American Beauty” was composed of dozens of angular young men in dark, expensive suits — never discussed his father or his personal life in interviews.

Now my old friend, journalist Sharon Churcher, has published an interview with Spacey’s older brother Randy Fowler about their father in the British newspaper the Mail on Sunday.

I have to give her credit for handling the story with sensitivity, because it is quite awful and a definite betrayal of family secrets. But there is also a shocking bit buried at the end: Spacey’s mother, Kathleen, whom he regularly took to the Oscars and premieres as his “date,” apparently died last year. Spacey has never spoken a word about this monumental event.

Indeed, the last time Kathleen Fowler was in public, as far as I know, was at the premiere of “The Shipping News” in December 2001 at the Museum of Natural History. She was wearing a large wig, glasses and a bulky sweater.

When I spoke to her, Spacey freaked out. He refused to give any interviews with any press and carried on in a very unpleasant way.

According to Randy’s interview, his mother died in March 2003. There is nary a mention of it on the Internet, either, with the exception of a short obituary on Variety’s Web site that was put up three weeks after her death.

In that write-up, Spacey’s father is said to have passed away in 1993. According to Randy’s interview, Thomas Fowler died on Christmas Eve, 1992.

Of course the big scandal in London concerning Spacey’s “mugging” in a park two weeks ago no doubt inspired all parties to this commerce. But what a story it turned out to be.

Randy, shockingly, tells Churcher that he was regularly raped by his own father, whom he also recalls as a pornographer. It sounds like living torture from the descriptions.

Randy insists, however, that his father never touched Spacey, who nevertheless shut down emotionally. When he became an actor, Spacey took his mother’s maiden name and dropped all connections to his father. You can see why.

According to Randy, Thomas Fowler — or Geoff, as he calls him — was a Holocaust denier who railed against Jews at the dinner table and never held a full-time job. He collected Nazi memorabilia, was a full-time member of the American Nazi Party, and even made Randy quit Cub Scouts because the troop leader was Jewish.

“He began to abuse a teenage girl who was a relative,” Churcher writes of Thomas Fowler.

There is also a graphic description of the first time Thomas Fowler raped his eldest son. Spacey and Randy nicknamed their father The Creature.

I’ve no doubt money was exchanged between the Daily Mail and Randy. He and his wife Trish live in Boise, Idaho, where he is a Rod Stewart impersonator. I guess he decided to finally trade off his family misery while Spacey is in London getting ready to run the Old Vic theatre.

When I called the Fowlers for comment the other day, Randy’s wife said, “We have no comment.” Randy told me last night he’s precluded in his deal with Churcher from speaking any further until next week. And of course he’s writing a book.

How all this will affect Spacey’s acting career is hard to say. He has no need to worry about his status in Hollywood. After all, he has two Oscars and a Tony award. His next film is the Bobby Darin story, which doesn’t seem promising — but you never know.

Of course, Spacey was never much of a leading man; his real business is as an outstanding character actor. In a way, these revelations may actually be a relief to him. The secrets are all out at last.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
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