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LI's Kevin Connolly accused of sexual assault

Kevin Connolly has been accused of forcing an

Kevin Connolly has been accused of forcing an actress to have nonconsensual sex with him in 2005. Credit: Getty Images/Manny Carabel

A former costume designer has accused Medford-raised "Entourage" star Kevin Connolly of sexual assault in 2005.

The Daily Beast reported Wednesday that Gracie Cox, who worked as assistant costume designer on the Connolly-directed independent film "Gardener of Eden," said the assault had occurred at the movie's wrap party in Manhattan. Connolly, 46, said through his attorney that the encounter was consensual.

Cox recalled that on the movie's set "Kevin was friendly and mildly flirtatious, but I just laughed it off and didn't take it too seriously." She added, "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."

At the wrap party in December 2005, Cox, who was then 29, said "I'd been there for more than an hour or so when Kevin approached me and asked if I'd go with him for a smoke. … I didn't smoke but didn't want to seem rude. 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. As soon as we were alone in that area, he started to kiss me. 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 had sex with her.

"There was not really a chance in my mind to object or resist," she said. "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."

When Cox returned, her boss, costumer Amy Westcott, saw that she was distressed. After the two talked, said Cox, "Amy was immediately enraged and protective, and then went after [Connolly]. Then they had an argument in the middle of the party, yelling at each other."

Westcott confirmed Cox's description of events to The Daily Beast, which reviewed emails between her and Cox. "I knew it wasn't consensual, and went after him," Westcott said in one email, adding in another, "I thought you're [sic] ability to consent was impaired by alcohol."

In a lengthy statement to The Daily Beast, Connolly's attorney, Marty Singer, said in part, "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."

Cox, noting Connolly's connections and powerful friends such as Leonardo DiCaprio, has not before spoken in detail about the incident, which occurred long before the #MeToo movement. "I want it to be known that he is dangerous," she said, "and I want him to not get away with it any longer."

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