Kevin Spacey wins in civil sexual-abuse case brought by actor Rapp

Kevin Spacey is cross examined during Anthony Rapp's (R) civil sex abuse case against Spacey in this courtroom sketch from the trial in New York, U.S., October 18, 2022 as U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan presides. REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg

Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey was found not guilty of sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy after jurors in a Manhattan civil trial determined that his accuser failed to prove that Spacey made an unwanted sexual advance on him.

Following a three-week trial in Manhattan federal court, the verdict was reached roughly two hours after the jury began deliberating.

Anthony Rapp, who is now 50 years old, testified that Kevin Spacey climbed on top of him on a bed and pressed his groin against his hip until he wriggled free. On the stand, Spacey denied the allegation and stated that he had never been alone with Rapp.

The former star of the Netflix political drama "House of Cards," Spacey, briefly emerged in the hallway outside the courtroom before returning inside. Upon leaving, he refused to answer reporters' questions.

Jennifer Keller, Spacey's attorney, told reporters that her client was grateful that the jury "saw through these false allegations."

Keller stated that the next step for Mr. Spacey will be to demonstrate his innocence of all charges.

Next year, Spacey will face a criminal trial in London after pleading not guilty to five sex offense charges relating to alleged assaults from 2005 to 2013.

Keller argued in her closing arguments that Rapp's story was untrue. She proposed several hypotheses as to why Rapp may have lied, such as a desire for attention or envy of Spacey's acting success.

Keller stated, "Mr. Rapp is receiving more attention in this trial than in his entire acting career."

During closing arguments, the attorney for Rapp urged the jury to discredit Spacey's recollection of the events. "It lacks consistency. It is not credible," Richard Steigman, Spacey's attorney, said, citing memory gaps and changes in Spacey's account. Steigman declined to comment after the verdict was rendered.

Spacey won Oscars for his performances in "American Beauty" and "The Usual Suspects," but after more than 20 men accused him of sexual misconduct, his career was largely derailed.

Christopher Plummer replaced him in the role of J. Paul Getty in "All the Money in the World" a few weeks before the film's 2017 release date.

Spacey's defense questioned Rapp's memory of the 1986 encounter, asking why he described it as occurring in a bedroom when at the time Spacey resided in a studio.

Keller argued that Rapp's recollection of his encounter with Spacey was strikingly similar to a scene in the play he was performing in at the time, in which an older male actor lifted him and placed him on a bed.

The trial began on Oct. 6 in Manhattan federal court, less than five years after Spacey's career was derailed by sexual misconduct allegations in the early days of the #MeToo movement, which encouraged women to speak out about sexual abuse by famous and powerful men. Also coming forward with claims of abuse were men.

Spacey denies any wrongdoing.

Keller urged the jury to disregard the sexual politics involved in the case.

Keller stated, "This is not a team sport where you are either on the MeToo side or the other side."

In November 2020, Rapp filed a lawsuit against Spacey for battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

During the trial, Judge Lewis A. Kaplan dismissed the emotional distress claim but permitted the remainder of the lawsuit to continue.

In Massachusetts, Spacey was charged with indecent assault in 2018 for allegedly sexually abusing an 18-year-old man at a Nantucket bar in 2016, but the charges were dropped in 2019 after the alleged victim refused to testify.

Publish : 2022-10-24 14:22:00

Give Your Comments