Former Boston TV news anchor Heather Unruh said Wednesday that her teenage son was sexually assaulted by Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey at a Nantucket restaurant in the summer of 2016.
"The victim - my son - was a starstruck, straight 18-year-old young man who had no idea that the famous actor was an alleged sexual predator or that he was about to become his next victim," Unruh said.
She said the incident occurred late at night in July of 2016 inside Nantucket's Club Car Restaurant. She said Spacey bought her son "drink, after drink, after drink," and when he was drunk, Spacey stuck his hand inside her son's pants and grabbed her son's genitals.
"I want to make it clear - this was a criminal act," Unruh said. "It harmed him, and it cannot be undone."
She said Spacey tried to get her son to go with him to an after-hours party. But when he left briefly to use the bathroom, a concerned woman came to her son's side and asked if he was OK. She told him to run, and he did. He ran to his grandmother's house on Nantucket, and then called his mother, who was in Boston at the time.
Unruh said her son is still deeply affected by the incident, and it continues to bother him.
"Right now, my son is worried. But he's also confident that the time to act is now," she said. "He did not report the crime at the time, and that was largely because of embarrassment and fear. He knew the kind of attention that would result from making an accusation about such a public person. I can assure you this is not the kind of attention anyone wants. But the climate in this country has changed now thanks to the brave women and all sexual abuse victims who have come forward with their accuations against Harvey Weinstein and other sexual abusers."
Joining Unruh at the press conference was her son's attorney, Mitchell Garabedian, who represented many of the victims in the Boston clergy sex abuse scandal.
"The sexual assaults, the sexual harassment, the sexual perversion must be stopped," Garabedian said. "And one way to stop it is for brave victims and their families to speak out so that children are safe, other victims are empowered and the victims themselves are emboldened."
Garabedian said the civil claim against Spacey is within the civil and criminal statute of limitations. He said his client spoke with Nantucket police last week, and they are conducting a criminal investigation.
Nantucket police said they couldn't confirm a report was filed because sexual assault reports are confidential.
Unruh said her son "is committed to doing what he can to stop Kevin Spacey from victimizing anyone else."
She also spoke directly to Spacey. "To Kevin Spacey, I want to say this -- shame on you for what you did to my son and shame on you for using your apology to Anthony Rapp to come out as a gay man. That was an appalling attempt to deflect attention from what you really are -- a sexual predator. Your actions are criminal."
This is the latest in a growing number of allegations against the "House of Cards" star.
Rapp, the actor best known for his role in the Broadway production of "Rent," last week claimed that Spacey made sexual advances against him in 1986, when he was 14. In the days since, numerous others have also come forward to make various allegations of sexual harassment and assault against Spacey. London police are reportedly investigating Spacey for a 2008 sexual assault.
Even before those allegations surfaced, Unruh said in the midst of the Harvey Weinstein scandal last month that Spacey had assaulted someone close to her.
"The #weinsteinscandal has emboldened me-- #truth time," she tweeted. "I was a Kevin Spacey fan until he assaulted a loved one. Time the dominoes fell."
As the allegations against Spacey continued to surface, Unruh has shown her support for Rapp and the other victims on Twitter.
"I applaud your courage Actor Anthony Rapp @albinokid. You are not alone," she said last week on Twitter.
Spacey has not responded to the mounting allegations but apologized to Rapp for what he called "deeply inappropriate drunken behavior."
The two-time Emmy winner has not been arrested or charged with any crime. A publicist said last week that Spacey is "taking the time necessary to seek evaluation and treatment."
A lawyer for Spacey didn't immediately return an email Wednesday.