Old Vic chief executive Sally Greene has spoken out for the first time in the wake of mounting allegations against former artistic director Kevin Spacey.
Spacey is facing claims of sexual misconduct dating back 30 years, some of which are said to have occurred during his 11-year tenure at the Old Vic , which he led between 2004 and 2015.
It has also been reported that Spacey is under investigation by the Metropolitan Police for a sexual assault on a man at his London home in 2008.
In a statement sent to The Stage, Greene – who is chief executive of the Old Vic as well as a trustee, and was responsible for appointing Spacey as artistic director – insisted she was unaware of any allegations against Spacey, either during or before his time at the theatre. She added she would never have appointed him had she known.
Greene is one of five trustees of the Old Vic who served throughout Spacey’s tenure and remain on its board today.
She established a charitable trust for the theatre in 1998, and in 2004 appointed Spacey “as part of a wider plan to turn the Old Vic into a world-leading arts institution”.
In her statement, she said she felt “sick to her stomach to think that people may have suffered from harassment or abuse as a result of their association with the theatre”.
“I would like to make it clear that prior to the emergence of these recent claims, I was unaware of any allegations involving Kevin Spacey, or any form of sexual impropriety, whether connected to the Old Vic or not,” Greene said, adding: “Had I known, I would never have appointed him.”
Her comments follow an editorial by The Stage , which posed six questions to the Old Vic’s board, and asked whether the trustees were ever aware, even via rumour or anecdote, of actual or alleged misconduct by Spacey during his time at the theatre and before.
Greene is currently the only trustee to have issued a personal statement. She stressed – via a spokesman – that she was speaking on her own behalf and not that of the Old Vic.
Her statement continued: “Given my wide business portfolio, in each of the venues with which I am involved, I rely on having a professional team in place, who work diligently and tirelessly to handle day-to-day management. Had anyone raised any complaints with me about inappropriate or potentially unlawful behaviour, I would have acted swiftly to address them.”
The Old Vic has confirmed it is carrying out a review into the allegations, which is due for completion by the end of this month. A spokeswoman told The Stage that until this has concluded it would be “too soon to comment on past specifics”.
Read Sally Greene’s statement in full