Kevin Spacey takes no responsibility in sex abuse lawsuit brought by Anthony Rapp

A federal jury in Kevin Spacey’s sexual assault case found the Oscar winner not responsible for the beating of “Star Trek: Discovery” Anthony Rapp.

A jury of five men and six women deliberated for less than 90 minutes on Thursday afternoon. Rapp appeared stoic as the verdict was read, and his lawyer appeared frustrated as he left the courthouse in downtown Manhattan.

Spacey bowed his head after the sentencing, then stood up and hugged his lawyer.

“I am very grateful that the jury saw through these false allegations,” Spacey’s attorney Jennifer Keller said outside court. Accompanied by bodyguards, Spacey jumped into a black SUV and drove away without saying a word.

In a statement posted on TwitterRapp said he was “very grateful for the opportunity to hear my case before a jury, and I appreciate the service of the jury members.”

“This lawsuit was always brought to light a light as part of a larger movement against all forms of sexual violence,” said Rapp, who vowed to continue advocating for “a society free from all forms of sexual violence.” world. “

“Anthony spoke his truth in court. While we respect the jury’s verdict, nothing will change,” Rapp attorney Richard Stegman, who delivered closing arguments Thursday, said in a statement. at this point.”

Kevin Spacey in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.  February 20, 2022 in New York.
Kevin Spacey in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. February 20, 2022.Kristen Cornell

In the early days of the #MeToo movement, Rapp was one of the most prominent figures to bring sexual misconduct allegations against Spacey, derailing his acclaimed career on screen and on stage.

Rapp claims Spacey climbed on top of him at a New York City party in 1986, when Rapp was 14 and Spacey was 26. Rapp, best known for his role in the musical “Rent,” testified that the alleged encounter was “the most traumatic single event of his life.

Spacey categorically denied Rapp’s allegations and swore that “they’re not true.” His lawyers argued that Rapp “created a story” in large part because he was jealous of their clients’ success in the entertainment industry.

During the closing arguments earlier Thursday, the actor’s lawyers presented a very different version of events.

Steigman advised Spacey to perform for the jury on the witness stand, insisting his client is still traumatized by the alleged encounter decades later.

Keller dismissed Rapp’s claims as a lie and argued that the young actor was simply jealous of her client’s professional success.

Emotional testimony

The pair gave tearful testimony from the witness stand.

Fighting back tears, Rapp recalled details of the alleged encounter with a distressed expression, which he described as “incredibly horrific and very shocking”. He testified that he was encouraged by his public statement in the fall of 2017.

“I didn’t ask him to do that,” he told jurors, referring to Spacey’s alleged sexual assault. “I don’t want him to do that.”

In Spacey’s case, he cried repeatedly during his testimony. He spoke to jurors in a trembling voice about his “humiliating and horrific” upbringing as the son of someone he described as a “white supremacist and neo-Nazi.”

Kevin Spacey in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.  February 20, 2022 in New York.
Kevin Spacey in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. February 20, 2022.Kristen Cornell

“I’ve never talked about these things publicly,” he said.

Rapp indicted Spacey in 2020 on three counts: assault, battery and intentionally causing emotional distress.

Judge Lewis A. Kaplan dismissed the assault charge before the trial, saying it was not protected by New York’s Child Victims Act of 2019, which temporarily allows people to make claims that would normally be prevented by the statute of limitations.

Kaplan dismissed Rapp’s claims of emotional distress on the sixth day of the trial, saying in part that it “repeated and re-charged” the battery charges.

Rapp, who claims he shared his experience with friends over the years, first publicly detailed his allegations in an article published by BuzzFeed News on Oct. 10. February 29, 2017.

Spacey’s response to allegations

in a statement on Twitter The next day, Spacey said he did not remember the alleged incident, but apologized to Rapp because “it was very inappropriate drunken behavior.” Then he came out, writing in part: “I now choose to live as a gay.”

In his testimony, Spacey said he regretted the statement, explaining that he now doesn’t think he should apologize for what he insists he didn’t do.

“I learned my lesson: never apologize for something you didn’t do,” Spacey told jurors. “I regret my entire statement.”

He said his advocacy team encouraged him to take the allegations “seriously” because they feared permanent damage to his career and reputation. In turn, he chose to take them “seriously but not realistically.”

“I don’t believe this will happen,” Spacey stressed.

Spacey also lamented that he used the statement as an opportunity to speak to the public.

“I would never do anything to hurt the gay community,” he said, tears welling from his eyes. He explained that he had been criticized for conflating his sexuality with the allegations: “It’s wrong, it’s really bad, and I apologise.”

duel event account

Rapp and Spacey agreed that they would meet sometime in April 1986 while they were performing on Broadway – Rapp and Ed Harris in “Precious Son,” Spacey and Jake Lemon on the production “Long Day’s Night Tour”.

Sometime in May of that year, the two met again at a casual gathering in Lemon’s locker room. That night, Spacey took Rapp and Rapp’s friend John Barrowman to a restaurant and a nightclub. Spacey testified that he was interested in Barrowman, who was 19 at the time.

“I was fascinated by John Barrowman,” Spacey said.

Spacey testified that he invited Rapp and Barrowman back to his apartment on Manhattan’s Upper East Side after the club to introduce them to his dog and show them views of his home. He said he and Barrowman had a brief “flirting and playful moment” in a bed that was cut short because Rapp was nearby.

Rapp claims that sometime after that night, Spacey invited him to a party at his apartment. Rapp testified that he didn’t know anyone at the party, so he went into the bedroom to watch TV.

He testified that at some point, a visibly drunk Spacey walked into the bedroom, lifted him up, put him on the bed, and put his full weight on him.

Spacey has forcefully denied the incident, saying in his testimony that he never invited Rapp to the party and even spoke to him again after an evening with Barrowman, who is now on the show for his role in the show. Known for his role in the British “Doctor Who.”

Actor Anthony Rapp (right) and his partner Ken Ithiphol arrive at federal court in New York on October 11.  January 19, 2022.
Anthony Rapp (right) and his partner Ken Ithiphol arrive in New York federal court on Wednesday. Angela Weiss/AFP – Getty Images

Spacey’s attorneys presented evidence they say supports his client’s denials, including documents showing he was living in a studio apartment with no bedroom at the time of the alleged incident.

One of Spacey’s attorneys, Jennifer Keller, tried to convince the jury that Rapp was distressed not only by Spacey’s success in Hollywood, but by being a “third round” with Barrowman that night. Rapp rejected the suggestion.

Rapp, 50, is a regular on the Paramount+ series “Star Trek: Discovery” and has appeared in films such as “Dazed and Confused” and “A Beautiful Mind.” Spacey, 63, won an Oscar for his performances in “The Usual Suspects” and “American Beauty,” and a Tony for “Lost in Yonkers.”

Spacey played a fictional president on the Netflix series “House of Cards,” but a wave of sexual misconduct allegations in 2017 led to his firing and abrupt halt to his famous Hollywood career.

other legal issues

Spacey’s legal woes didn’t end in New York.

In the UK, he faces charges of sexually assaulting three men a decade or more ago. He pleaded not guilty at a hearing at London’s Central Criminal Court in July. He is expected to stand trial in the UK on June 6, according to the Associated Press.

Judge Kaplan in Spacey’s civil trial did not allow Rapp’s lawyers to talk about the UK case. However, Rapp’s lawyers had the opportunity to question Andy Holzman, a former employee of the Manhattan Public Theater, who claimed Spacey attacked him there in 1981.

Spacey has denied the allegation.

Separately, a Los Angeles judge ruled in August that Spacey and his company must pay the producer behind “House of Cards” nearly $31 million for what he suffered after being fired for allegedly sexually harassing the crew, according to court documents. lost.

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