Actor Kevin Spacey Defends Jack Abramoff's Generosity: 'He Gave Money to Schools'

Actor and liberal activist Kevin Spacey is known for his friendship with former President Bill Clinton – but it looks like he's found a new friend in Jack Abramoff, the conservative lobbyist convicted of fraud in 2008.

The actor, who is set to play Abramoff in the upcoming film “Casino Jack,” defended the former K Street giant during an interview with the Los Angeles Times on Sept. 14.

“I read what everyone read about him, and then I started reaching out to him, and it was two different people,” Spacey told the paper. “On the one hand he's funny, almost comedian-like funny, and you can see how he owned a room. And then you look at what they said about him and he's the devil incarnate. And then there's the facts.”

The “American Beauty” star said that Abramoff “wasn't stealing money” and was actually quite charitable with the cash he received through his lobbying firm's massive pay-for-play scheme.

“[Abramoff] is the greediest man on Earth who doesn't have any self-interest,” said Spacey. “He was giving money away to build schools. He was giving so much money away he wasn't even paying his mortgage.”

The actor also predicted that “Once he's done with his house arrest, [Abramoff] may decide to speak out about the lobbying industry.”

Spacey's soft spot for Abramoff is notable, considering the actor's outspoken support for the Democratic Party. The movie star told Sean Hannity that he was “absolutely” a passionate Democrat and that “it's called being a good American,” during an interview on “Hannity & Colmes” on May 23, 2008.

Abramoff isn't the only controversial political player who has received Spacey's endorsement. The actor is also a fan of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, and even visited Chavez with “Mystic River” star Sean Penn in 2007.

Like this article? Sign up for "Culture Links," CMI's weekly e-mail newsletter, by clicking here.