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Armenian Student Appeals to Kevin Spacey for Help with UC Berkeley Tuition

Updated: Jul 9

 Armenian Student

By The Armenian Report and Contributing Writer Danielle Mikaelian


At a Golden Apricot film festival event, a surprising and heartfelt plea was made by Tigran Aghbalayan, an Armenian student studying pre-law at UC Berkeley. Tigran attended a meet and greet with award-winning actor Kevin Spacey, where he sought advice and support for his undergraduate tuition.


Tigran, who is pursuing a B.A. in Political Science, comes from Armenia’s Tavush region. Initially, the Armenian government provided financial support for his studies. However, this assistance was recently discontinued.


"My country supported me for the first year, but my country is in a tough situation also," Tigran explained to the crowd, holding the microphone with a mix of hope and anxiety.


During the event, Tigran made a direct appeal to Kevin Spacey, asking for his help in continuing his education. "I wanted to become an actor, but I postponed my career to pursue law. Now I’m a pre-law second-year student at UC Berkeley in California. I don’t want to be rude, but I would like to genuinely ask for your help and your support. You got a big heart, and you got big friends, Mr. Spacey, please!" 


Kevin Spacey, moved by Tigran's story, responded thoughtfully. He pointed out that there were around 500-600 people in the crowd who could potentially support Tigran through platforms like GoFundMe. 


"Once you get over your initial shyness, you’re going to do really well. Secondly, being a lawyer, which is now what you’re moving toward—yes, there are a lot of actors who are lawyers. I think you have this remarkable opportunity. Don’t look at me. You’ve got all these people who heard your story and people will help you complete your dreams," Spacey told Tigran.


Attending UC Berkeley as an out-of-state student is expensive, with tuition costs reaching around $45,000 per year, not including additional expenses like housing. This financial burden can be especially challenging for international students like Tigran, who are striving to further their education and careers.


At the same time, Kevin Spacey himself has been dealing with severe financial issues. Just last month, Spacey appeared on the "Piers Morgan Uncensored" show, where he tearfully discussed his financial struggles following numerous legal battles.


Spacey revealed that his once-thriving acting career came to a sudden halt after allegations of misconduct surfaced. The legal battles have left him millions of dollars in debt, forcing him to sell his Baltimore home due to foreclosure. Despite being found not liable in several high-profile cases, the legal costs have been overwhelming, and Spacey admitted to facing near-bankruptcy multiple times.

Kevin Spacey's financial troubles are a stark contrast to the image of a wealthy and influential Hollywood actor. Despite his own struggles, Spacey offered Tigran words of encouragement and highlighted the potential support from the community present at the event.


While Tigran's future remains uncertain, his courage to speak up and seek help at a public event demonstrates his determination to pursue his dreams. The support from the crowd, and potentially from a broader audience, may provide the assistance he needs to continue his studies at UC Berkeley. You can email Tigran directly at tikran@berkeley.edu if you would like to help!

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