Actor Anthony Rapp responds to Kevin Spacey sexual assault verdict

Side by side images of Anthony Rapp and Kevin Spacey

Anthony Rapp said he’s “deeply grateful” he had a chance to tell his story after a court found Rapp failed to prove Kevin Spacey sexually assaulted him as a teen.

Rapp claimed a then-26-year-old Spacey made sexual advances towards him when he was 14 during an “incredibly frightening” encounter in 1986. Spacey has “categorically” denied the accusation.

However, a New York jury concluded on Thursday (20 October) that Rapp had not proven his allegations against Spacey and found Spacey “not liable” for damages related to the charges. 

In the wake of the verdict, Rapp’s attorney Richard Steigman said the actor “told his truth”. Steigman added: “We respect the jury’s verdict, but it doesn’t change his truth.”

Anthony Rapp later released his own statement on Twitter and explained he was “deeply grateful” to be part of a movement against sexual violence despite the court dismissing his case. 

“I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to have my case heard before a jury, and I thank the members of the jury for their service,” Rapp wrote.

He continued: “Bringing this lawsuit was always about shining a light, as part of the larger movement to stand up against all forms of sexual violence.

“I pledge to keep on advocating for efforts to ensure that we can live and work in a world that is free from sexual violence of any kind. 

“I sincerely hope that survivors continue to tell their stories and fight for accountability.”

Anthony Rapp, now 50, was the first person to publicly accuse Kevin Spacey of sexual misconduct in a 2017 BuzzFeed article during the #MeToo era. 

Rapp filed legal action against Spacey, now 63, in September 2020, reportedly seeking $40 million in damages. 

The Star Trek: Discovery actor testified in court that he attended a party at Spacey’s apartment in 1986 when he was a young teen. Rapp decided to go into a bedroom at the party to watch TV when he claimed Spacey approached him, seemingly intoxicated. 

He alleged the actor put him on a bed and climbed on top of him, pressing his penis against Rapp’s hip. Rapp told the court the encounter “felt very wrong”, and he said it was “very alarming and totally antithetical to anything else that [he] had ever experienced”. 

Kevin Spacey denied the accusations against him. He testified before court that he didn’t “know how this could possibly be true” and that he wouldn’t have been sexually interested in Rapp as he was underage at the time. 

The American Beauty star is separately facing five charges in the UK, including four counts of sexual assault and one count of causing penetrative sexual activity without consent. Spacey pleaded not guilty to the charges, and the trial is reportedly due to begin in June 2023.