His side of the story. Kevin Connolly is speaking out after a costume designer came forward with claims that she was sexually assaulted by the actor at a 2005 wrap party.
On Wednesday, July 15, Gracie Cox shared her story with The Daily Beast, alleging that the Entourage alum, 46, cornered her during a celebration at Butter lounge in New York City in honor of the actor’s directorial debut, The Gardener of Eden, in 2005. While Cox claims that Connolly had been “mildly flirtatious” with her on set, she admitted that she “laughed it off” and didn’t think much of his advances at the time. However, his behavior escalated at the party when the two were alone.
“He led me down a hall to what I guess was the VIP lounge area,” Cox told the publication. “As soon as we were alone in that area, he started to kiss me. I didn’t know how to respond — but before I could even think about what to do about it, he pulled me into one of these little side [booths], and pulled down my pants, and turned me around, and within no time was inside of me. I was just in shock.”
Hours after the South Carolina native’s claims made headlines, a rep for the He’s Just Not That Into You actor told Us Weekly in a statement that the 2005 interaction was consensual.
“Kevin strongly supports victims of sexual assault and believes their claims should always be heard,” the rep said. “As someone who has worked in the industry for decades, he has treated people with nothing but respect and has maintained a stellar reputation, therefore, he was completely shocked to learn of the allegations made by Gracie Cox from a wrap party in 2005. The incident with Ms. Cox was consensual, and he categorically denies any claim that it was assault.”
The statement continued: “When they returned to the wrap party, Gracie’s boss, Amy Westcott, learned of what occurred and expressed her disappointment to both. Gracie shared with Kevin that she was embarrassed after getting in trouble with Amy, the head of the costume department. According to IMDB, it doesn’t appear that Gracie and Amy worked together on a project since then. Amy and Kevin continued to work together for two more years on Entourage, and a few years later Amy recommended her assistant to work with Kevin on another job. Kevin completely understands Amy’s displeasure with the consensual act that transpired between Kevin and Gracie 15 years ago, after production had wrapped and they were no longer working together on the movie. Kevin acknowledges the lack of professionalism on his part, but he adamantly denies that it was anything other than a mutual consensual encounter.”
In Cox’s emotional retelling of the alleged assault, she claimed that Connolly wasn’t wearing a condom and that she was “completely caught off-guard” by his actions.
“There was not really a chance in my mind to object or resist,” she told The Daily Beast. “It just happened really fast. I froze and was in shock. Nothing like that had ever happened to me before in any way, shape or form. … He thinks he’s untouchable, and that’s part of the reason why it’s been hard to come forward about it. I was definitely fearful of not being able to work again in TV and film.”
The costume designer’s claims come years after several powerful men in Hollywood were accused of sexual assault as part of the #MeToo movement, including Connolly’s costar Jermey Piven. Multiple women came forward with allegations against the New York native, 54, between 2017 and 2018 — but the Serendipity actor vehemently denied the stories.
“Let me begin by saying that the accusations against me are absolutely false and completely fabricated,” he tweeted in November 2017. “I would never force myself on a woman. Period. I have offered to take a polygraph to support my innocence. … As a human being I feel compassion for the victims of such acts, but I am perplexed as to the misdirection of anger with false accusations against me and hope they do not detract from the stories that should be heard.”