Ari Behn, who claimed to have been sexually harassed by Spacey after a Nobel Peace Prize concert in 2007, died by suicide on December 25.
For years, Kevin Spacey spectacularly portrayed the character of a lying, murderous, corrupt narcissist on the hit series House Of Cards. In fact, his performance was so engaging and believable that it earned him a number of nominations, 2 Screen Actors Guild Awards, and a Golden Globe. Fans practically worshipped him as one of the greatest actors of his generation and Hollywood showered him with accolades.
I too was a big fan of his performance as Frank Underwood and even when an avalanche of disturbing allegations rained down on him, I argued that perhaps we should separate the art from the artist. However, ever since he dropped a vaguely threatening and undeniably creepy yuletide message on Christmas Eve last year, a rather disturbing thought has been knawing away at me: What if he wasn't acting?
What if he was simply being himself while portraying Underwood on screen? What if there isn't much of a distinction between Kevin Spacey, the actor, and Frank Underwood, the character? The signs are definitely there. Even after his rather unceremonious exit from the Netflix series following the sexual assault allegations made against him, he has refused to let go of the sinister persona and seems to take some kind of sadistic pleasure in flaunting it in front of the world come Christmas Eve. He kept the tradition alive this year as well, posting an ominous holiday video titled "KTWK," or "Kill Them with Kindness."
The video by itself—albeit ominous and creepy—is nothing special. It's just 59-seconds-long, features Spacey describing 2019 as a "pretty good year" where he "got his health back," and wanting "more good in this world" next year. "I know what you're thinking, Can he be serious? I'm dead serious. The next time someone does something you don't like, you can go on the attack. But you can also hold your fire and do the unexpected. You can... kill them with kindness," he concludes as the screen turns black to sinister music. The video made headlines across major publications, the internet cracked jokes about Spacey going full Frank Underwood, and the world got back to their eggnogs.
Siri, what's a narcissistic sociopath?https://t.co/vpMtBuCrJX— Carol Roth (@caroljsroth) December 24, 2019
juror: we find kevin spacey guilty of sexual assault.— Rajat Suresh (@rajat_suresh) December 24, 2019
kevin spacey: pardon me, but who is this kevin spacey you speak of?
juror (rolling eyes): i mean, we find frank underwood guilty of sexual assault.
*a big smile grows across kevin spacey's face*
FFS THE SHOW IS OVER YOU LOON https://t.co/NayvdcKrRv— Nash Across the 8th Dimension (@Nash076) December 24, 2019
That should've been it. The video—and Spacey's—time in the spotlight should've ended after being a brief conversation topic at Christmas dinners. It did not. On Christmas day, news broke of Ari Behn's death. An author and the former husband of a Norwegian princess, Behn made headlines in December 2017 when he claimed he was sexually harassed by Spacey after a Nobel Peace Prize concert in 2007. He died by suicide on December 25, the day after Spacey's creepy video hit the internet.
One of Kevin Spacey's accusers, Ari Behn, died of a suicide just one day after the disgraced actor released a bizarre Christmas Eve video https://t.co/43O4104VQg— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) December 27, 2019
According to CNN, the news was announced by Behn's family's spokesman Geir Håkonsund, who in a statement said, "It is with great sadness in our hearts that we, the very closest relatives of Ari Behn, must announce that he took his own life today. We ask for respect for our privacy in the time to come." The late author was married to Princess Martha Louise—the eldest child of Norway's King Harald V and Queen Sonja—for 14 years, and according to his website, "had achieved great literary success in Norway with his first collection of short stories, titled Trist som faen (Sad as hell)."
Hundreds of Norwegians from all over Norway have traveled to the castle square today to light candles in memory of Ari Behn.— Oskar Aanmoen 🇳🇴 (@OAanmoen) December 26, 2019
Ari Behn died yesterday, he was 47 years old. pic.twitter.com/1COt7O3RZk
...because we perceived Ari to be remarkably open and genuinely interested in people around him. Reading all the testimonials from people close to him over the past few days we grasp a tiny bit of how he was and how he SAW others and treated people around him.— Marte C W Solheim (@MarteCWSolheim) December 27, 2019
In an interview with Norway's radio P4 in December 2017, Behn shared his "#MeToo story about Kevin Spacey." Recounting the story as more of a strange, funny incident than as an accusation of abuse, he said, "We were having a nice chat where we spoke about theater and drama, and the little theater, the Wick, a theater in London. We had a good conversation sitting beside each other. After five minutes he said 'Hey, let's go out and have a cigarette,' then he grabbed me under the table right in the balls. I said something like, 'Maybe later.'"
Kevin Spacey accused of groping Ari Behn, former son-in-law of Norwegian King Harald (Pic: Reuters)https://t.co/4bfqGHiNSh pic.twitter.com/f4bP68C1o0— ABC News (@abcnews) December 9, 2017
The timing of Spacey's "Kill Them with Kindness" video and Behn's death sparked suspicions online. These suspicions were made stronger by the fact that Behn is the third Kevin Spacey sexual assault accuser to have died under mysterious circumstances this year. In May 2019, Linda Culkin—the first whistleblower to go public with allegations against the actor—was struck by a car while crossing the street in Quincy, Massachusetts.
Ari Behn is the THIRD Kevin Spacey accuser to die this year, following whistleblower Linda Culkin and the anonymous massage therapist who accused Spacey of sexual assault in an October 2016 session. “Suicide” of course.— Shirtless Pundit 🇺🇸 (@zachhaller) December 27, 2019
How is Spacey still walking free? https://t.co/sT4PSq46Cj
According to CBS News, her death was followed by an anonymous massage therapist who had accused Spacey of sexually assaulting him during a massage session in October 2016. Listed as only "John Doe" in the court filings, his death in September led to Los Angeles prosecutors rejecting the sexual battery case related to his accusation. 2019 really has been a "pretty good year" for Kevin Spacey, hasn't it?
Kevin Spacey released a one-minute ‘inspirational’ Christmas video— Allen Dulles (@AllenDulles6) December 25, 2019
(acting as ‘House of Cards’ character Frank Underwood) to encourage people to settle conflicts and “kill them with kindness.”
Meanwhile, the rest of the world wants to know what keeps “killing” his accusers. https://t.co/NwKkrpzRMh
Kevin Spacey is literally Frank Underwood. I would start asking where his his hit man “Doug” was during these incidents pic.twitter.com/m4bQPDqqKs— Wayne Dupree 🎙🎥 (@WayneDupreeShow) December 27, 2019
So am I reading it right that out of nowhere Kevin Spacey does that Frank Underwood “people who fuck with me die” thing on Twitter as a weird joke and then one of his accusers died the same day.— Slow Strand America Beef Bridges Hardman (@slowbeef) December 26, 2019
Like he’s not really Keyzer Soze so how does this work?