Kevin Sorbo, the actor famous for playing Hercules in five TV films and a series in the 1990s, is the latest star to open about with sexual harassment allegations. But Sorbo’s claims are especially shocking because the man he is accusing has been dead for 20 years, leaving behind a legacy as one of the most iconic names in the fashion industry.
In a new interview on Adam Carolla’s podcast, Kevin Sorbo alleged that he was once sexually harassed by the late Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace. Kevin revealed that he met Versace when he was working as a model in the early 1980s and that the famed designer allegedly molested him during a meeting.
“I’ve got my sexual harassment story,” Sorbo told Carolla in the interview.
Kevin went on to explain that Gianni wanted him to work in some of his fashion shows and commercials for his famous fashion brand and that he was invited to several dinner parties, some of which were attended by A-listers Sophia Loren, Richard Gere, and Luciano Pavarotti. Sorbo revealed that after being booked for a few Versace fashion shows, Gianni invited him to one final dinner party in which he was the only attendee, and that’s where things took an unexpected turn.
“All of a sudden, his hand goes up my leg,” Kevin Sorbo recalled, adding that he told Versace, “Dude, you know I’m straight?”
Kevin Sorbo’s allegation of what Gianni Versace said next is shocking.
“This is why I like you. You’re not a girly man. You are a man’s man,” Sorbo recalls Versace telling him.
“In life, you must f**k everything. You must do the dog, and the cat, and the boy, and the girl.”
Kevin Sorbo alleges that Versace wanted to “build a bridge” between their very different lifestyles, but that because he turned down Versace’s advances, he lost the job for the high-profile ad campaign.
“The bridge was never built, and I never got the campaign,” Kevin said. “I got four free dinners.”
Twenty years after the designer’s death, Kevin Sorbo’s allegations about his encounter with Gianni Versace are shocking to fashion fans. Gianni Versace was murdered in July 1997 by serial killer Andrew Cunanan. Cunanan shot five homosexual men, including Versace, as part of a cross-country murder spree before killing himself. The late fashion designer’s final days will be detailed in Ryan Murphy’s upcoming TV anthology series The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, which will air in January on FX.
In addition to his modeling career, Kevin Sorbo played Hercules in five TV movies starting in 1994, as well as the syndicated hit Hercules: The Legendary Journeys for six seasons. Sorbo reprised the role in the spin-off Xena: Warrior Princess.
The 59-year-old actor later revealed that his Christian faith temporarily stalled his career.
“My faith certainly hurt me in Hollywood,” Sorbo told CNS News. “I did Hercules for 7 years, it was the most watched show for a good number of years. … but then, for me to get called into read for anything – it just dropped drastically when I came out of that conservative Christian closet so to speak.”
Sorbo credits the independent film industry for saving his career. Kevin Sorbo currently stars in the faith-based film Let There Be Light.
[Featured Image by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP Images]