Kevin Spacey reads poem The Boxer at Italian museum

A man wearing a tan suit stands next to a statue of a man kneeling.
Kevin Spacey during the performance Photo credit: Getty

Kevin Spacey has made his second public appearance since dozens of sexual assault allegations against him emerged.

The disgraced actor read Gabriele Tinti's poem 'The Boxer' to museum-goers in Rome, including a small number of journalists.

Daily Beast writer Barbie Nadeau witnessed the reading and said the Spacey made the poem's subject matter, a down-and-out boxer, appear to match his circumstances.

"You have to suck the heart of a hero as long as it beats," he read.

"I shook the country, made the arenas vibrate, tore my opponents to shreds. I lit up the darkness, collected insults, compelled applause. Not everyone knew how to do this. None of you." 

Tinti denied media reports he wrote the poem with Spacey in mind, but said he was honoured to have the actor read his work.

"What a wonderful night! Everyone was so happy to celebrate art, it was an honor to have Kevin Spacey reading my poems, Rome loves you!" he said on Twitter.

Rome may love Spacey, but Twitter users don't, many of them responding to the tweet to criticise the performance.

"Kevin Spacey  is a sick, dangerous man and, from his reading, clearly unrepentant. Sickening to watch him," one person wrote.

"Spacey is a fantastic actor! Especially all those years where he acted like he wasn't a sexual predator! Great performance," one person wrote.

It's Spacey's second public outing since the sexual assault allegations first surfaced. His first was a cryptic video published on Christmas Day (NZ time).

"We're not done, no matter what anyone says. And besides, I know what you want. You want me back," he said in the video.

Charges alleging Spacey groped an 18-year-old man in 2016 were dropped by Massachusetts prosecutors in late July.