Entourage star Kevin Connolly has been accused of raping a costume designer during a 2005 wrap party for a film he directed, according to a new report by the Daily Beast.
Gracie Cox, who worked as a costume designer on Connolly’s directorial debut The Gardener of Eden, claims the 46-year-old attacked her inside the now-shuttered Butter lounge in Manhattan as they celebrated the film’s completion.
Cox, then 29, said she’d been at the event no longer than an hour when Connolly allegedly approached her and asked if she’d join him for a cigarette.
‘I didn’t smoke but didn’t want to seem rude,’ Cox told the Daily Beast. ‘This was the first social setting I’d been in with him, other than being on set. He led me down a hall to what I guess was the VIP lounge area.’
Cox claims that as soon as they entered the area, Connolly – who denies the allegations – started to kiss her.
‘I didn’t know how to respond,’ she told the outlet, ‘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.’
Entourage star Kevin Connolly has been accused of sexually assaulting a costume designer during a 2005 wrap party for a film he directed, according to a new report
An emotional Cox recalled that the shock rendered her paralyzed, claiming: ‘There was not really a chance in my mind to object or resist. 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. I was completely caught off-guard.’
Cox then claims Connolly, who she says was not wearing a condom, then did something she’ll ‘never forget’.
‘He took a pillow off of a couch, threw it at me, and told me to “clean myself up”,’ she told the Daily Beast.
Connolly is then said to have told her that he was going to leave the room, instructing her to wait a few minutes before coming out because he ‘didn’t want anyone to see us together’, according to Cox.
The former costume designer, who has since returned to South Carolina to work as a child therapist, says she gathered herself quickly and attempted to re-enter the party, because that ‘was the only way to leave’.
As she was making her way back to the function room, Cox says she caught the eye of her boss, Amy Westcott, the lead costume designer on the film who had hired her for the project.
‘Amy saw me and could see that I was distressed,’ Cox told the Daily Beast. ‘She had seen [Connolly] walk by too, and she immediately was like, “What just happened?”’
Westcott reportedly pulled Cox to one side, but after exchanging only a few words, she apparently became aware of Cox’s hysterical state and was ‘immediately enraged and protective and went after [Connolly].’
Westcott confirmed to the outlet that Cox had told her about her encounter with Singer immediately after the incident, and confronted Connolly about it.
Amy Westcott (pictured left with Connolly) reportedly confronted the Entourage star about the alleged assault moments after it happened
Cox claims the 46-year-old attacked her inside the now-shuttered Butter lounge in the NoHo region of Manhattan as they celebrated the film’s completion
Two other attendees of the wrap party speaking on the grounds of anonymity told the Daily Beast that they witnessed the confrontation between Westcott and Connolly.
‘I saw Amy [Westcott] get upset with Kevin [Connolly] at the party,’ one crew member said. ‘That’s what I saw. It was a burst, as far as I remember. She was very upset. And it was between the costume designer [Westcott] and Kevin Connolly.’
The second source said Cox appeared ‘disheveled’ when she emerged from the VIP room, and also said they also saw Westcott confront Connolly shortly afterwards.
Connolly’s attorney Marty Singer has not yet returned a DailyMail.com request for comment.
However, in a statement to Daily Beast of behalf of his client, Singer said Connolly, who has not been charged in the alleged attack, ‘categorically denies’ assaulting Cox.
According to Singer, Connolly says both Westcott and Cox were angry with him because of a ‘lack of professionalism’ on his part of the encounter, which sparked Westcott’s confrontation.
‘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,’ Singer said.
‘Kevin acknowledges the lack of professionalism on his part, but he adamantly denies that it was anything other than a mutual consensual encounter.’
Four of Cox’s friends have since confirmed to the Daily Beast that Cox told them within days of the party that she had allegedly been assaulted by Connolly, and that Westcott had confronted him about it.
Cox says she is no longer afraid to tell her side of the story, despite Connolly’s ‘long reach’ in the industry and his powerful friends, such as Leonardo DiCaprio, who produced The Gardener of Eden (pictured at the TriBeca Film Festival for the Gardener of Eden in 2007 left to right: Kevin Connolly, Leonardo DiCaprio, Lukas Hass)
Connolly (pictured in April), who has not been charged in the alleged attack, ‘categorically denies’ assaulting Cox
Many of her friends advised her to visit a doctor to have a rape kit administered, but Cox says she declined at the time because she was concerned about her future in the film industry at the time.
‘The casual nature, the way that it felt, was like something that he had done before and thinks nothing of it,’ she said. ‘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.’
Cox said she later contacted famed women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred when the #MeToo movement began gathering momentum in 2017. However, she says she was turned away because the statute of limitations had passed in the case.
The Gardener of Eden centers on a slacker in New Jersey who, after accidentally catching a serial rapist in the act, transforms into a crime-fighting vigilante. The film was released in 2007
‘In the weeks and months following the assault, I had to endure seeing Kevin’s face on my daily commute, literally larger than life and plastered all over NYC city buses and subway stations,’ Cox remembered to the outlet.
‘It was the ad campaign for the new season of Entourage. I recall it being especially difficult to have this relentless visual assault on top of an already painful experience; his power and dominance continuing to occupy my mind and my space.’
Cox says she was also planning to move to Los Angeles at the time to work under Westcott in the upcoming season of Entourage when the alleged incident occurred. She said she was no longer interested in pursuing that opportunity after wrap party.
Cox, who later went to work on HBO’s Girls and Netflix’s Orange is the New Black, says she is no longer afraid to tell her side of the story, despite Connolly’s ‘long reach’ in the industry and his powerful friends, such as Leonardo DiCaprio, who produced The Gardener of Eden.
Connolly was once been an integral member of DiCaprio’s infamous ‘Pussy Posse’, along with Lukas Hass – the lead in Gardener of Eden – Tobey Maguire and a number of other actors and TV personalities who were famed for their debauchery on the New York City club scene in the late 1990s.
‘I want it to be known that he is dangerous,’ Cox told the Daily Beast of Connolly, ‘and I want him to not get away with it any longer.’
In his lengthy statement to the outlet, Singer said Connolly ‘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.
‘Therefore, he was completely shocked to learn of the allegations made by Gracie Cox from a wrap party in 2005,’ Singer continued. ‘The incident with Ms. Cox was consensual, and he categorically denies any claim that it was assault.’