Actor Kevin Connolly is being accused of sexual assault by a costume designer.
“In early 2005, I started to work on this film that was directed by Kevin Connolly. The designer, Amy Westcott, had already worked with him on Entourage. I was the assistant costume designer on this film, called The Gardener of Eden,” costume designer Gracie Cox said. “I’d been in the industry for a few years at this point—so not a very long time.”
“I was around the set every day. Kevin was friendly and mildly flirtatious but I just laughed it off and didn’t take it too seriously,” said Cox. “I wasn’t interested but he was the director, so I was cordial. There was nothing that made me fearful though, it just made me a little uncomfortable, because he was my boss. So not acknowledging the smiles or comments didn’t feel like an option.”
Said to have taken place at a party for Connolly’s directorial debut back in December 2005 for The Gardener of Eden, Cox alleged that he took her to a VIP lounge where he allegedly began kissing her, Complex reports.
“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,” Cox stated in a new Daily Beast report.
Cox also said that Connolly made her feel “a little uncomfortable” on the film set as well.
Four of Cox’s friends have since come forth to confirm her story, claiming they knew within days of it happening.
Bessie Gantt, Cox’s friend who reportedly got into a heated argument with Connolly at the same event following the alleged encounter, said, “It was an assault. She was a deer in the headlights.”
According to the Daily Beast, Cox attempted to share her story several times in the past, including back in 2017 amid Harvey Weinstein’s accusations. She also regretted not getting a rape kit at the time of the incident.
In the meantime, Connolly, through his lawyer, has denied the allegations in a lengthy statement, saying, in part, “Kevin strongly supports victims of sexual assault and believes their claims should always be heard. As someone who has worked in this industry for four 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… 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.”