Kevin Spacey cleared of sexually assaulting actor Anthony Rapp by US jury
A sexual assault case against Kevin Spacey by actor Anthony Rapp has been dismissed by a New York court.
On Thursday (20 October), following a three-week trial, a jury found Rapp had not proved his claim that Spacey had made an unwanted sexual advance in 1986, the BBC reports.
The case was brought by Rapp, who alleged that Spacey touched him inappropriately at a party at his Manhattan apartment, when Rapp was 14 and Spacey was 26.
Rapp, now 50, was the first person to come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against Spacey, 63, in 2017 during an interview with Buzzfeed during the #MeToo era.
Rapp then filed the legal action in September 2020, reportedly seeking $40 million in damages.
He testified in court that the incident was “incredibly frightening”, claiming he had decided to go to a bedroom at the party to watch TV, when Spacey reportedly appeared in the room, seemingly intoxicated, and approached him.
Rapp claimed the actor put him on a bed and climbed on top of him, pressing his penis against Rapp’s hip.
“It felt very wrong,” Rapp said. “I didn’t want him to do it, and I had no reason that made any sense of why he would do it. I felt like a deer in headlights.”
I was this 14-year-old child, and I had no desire to have any kind of this experience in my life… It was incredibly frightening and very alarming and totally antithetical to anything else that I had ever experienced.”
The American Beauty actor denied the accusations against him.
Taking the stand in his own defence, Kevin Spacey said: “I didn’t know how this could possibly be true”, adding that he would not have been sexually interested in Rapp, as he was underage.
Spacey added in his testimony that he had not come out as gay until after the allegations were brought towards him as his father was a “white supremacist and a neo-Nazi” and he had a “degree of shame” over his sexuality.
Spacey is separately facing five charges in the UK, including four counts of sexual assault and one count of causing penetrative sexual activity without consent, to which he has pleaded not guilty.
The UK trial is reportedly due to begin in June 2023.
“I will voluntarily appear in the UK as soon as can be arranged and defend myself against these charges, which I am confident will prove my innocence,” the actor said following the charges.
The actor’s lawyer added that Kevin Spacey “strenuously denies any and all criminality in this case”.
Spacey was dropped from Netflix political drama House of Cards after the allegations were made against him, with the actor ordered to pay nearly $31 million to the studio due to lost revenue.
In November 2021, the Usual Suspects actor was asked to pay independent production company Media Rights Capital the sum after he was fired from the show.
Spacey filed to overturn the ruling, but his application was dismissed in August.
The actor had starred in five seasons of the show in the lead role of Frank Underwood, however his firing led the show’s sixth season, which had already cost millions being developed, written, and shot, to be shortened and rewritten altogether.
The November 2021 hearing found that Spacey was not entitled to be paid for the remainder of his contract.
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