On Thursday, actor Kevin Spacey makes his way to New York City’s federal court for a civil trial. AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey hide caption
switch to caption T. Shaffrey / AP On Thursday, actor Kevin Spacey makes his way to New York City’s federal court for a civil trial.
T. Shaffrey / AP THE NEW YORK In one of the lawsuits that ultimately ended Kevin Spacey’s career, a jury on Thursday found that the actor did not sexually abuse Anthony Rapp, who was 14 at the time, while they were both relatively unknown actors in Broadway shows in the 1980s.
The civil trial’s verdict was rendered in an instant. After deliberating for a little over an hour, the jury in a federal court in New York concluded that Rapp had not established his claims.
After hearing the verdict, Spacey bowed his head and hugged his attorneys. As he left the courthouse, he avoided speaking to reporters.
Rapp claimed in court that Spacey invited him to a party at his residence and then approached him in a bedroom after the other visitors had departed. He claimed that the actor, who was 26 at the time, pulled him up and momentarily lay on top of him on a bed.
Rapp claimed that when drunk Spacey inquired about his intentions, he wriggled out of the way and ran.
Spacey assured the jurors throughout his sometimes-tearful testimony that it never happened and that he would never have been drawn to a 14-year-old.
Damages of $40 million were demanded in the complaint.
Richard Steigman, Rapp’s attorney, charged Spacey with lying to the jury during his final arguments on Thursday.
He doesn’t have any credibility, Steigman stated. “Sometimes the straightforward reality is the best.” The fact that what occurred is the simple reality.
After the trial, Spacey’s attorney, Jennifer Keller, stated that the defense was “very appreciative to the jury for seeing through these bogus charges.”
She informed the jury that Rapp made up the incident and offered explanations for why she might have imagined or made it up.
She speculated that Rapp may have created it as a result of his performance in the play “Precious Sons,” in which actor Ed Harris takes up Rapp’s character and lies on top of him before realizing it is his son.
She also implied that after Rapp’s breakout performance in Broadway’s “Rent,” Rapp grew resentful of Spacey’s success as a megastar while Rapp had “minor roles in small productions.”
So now, Keller added, “Mr. Rapp is receiving more publicity from this trial than he ever has in his acting career.”
Rapp, 50, and Spacey, 63, both gave lengthy testimony at the three-week trial .
The two-time Academy Award winner actor’s once-soaring career was abruptly cut short by Rapp’s and other people’s charges. He was fired from the Netflix series “House of Cards” and other possibilities dried up. Rapp was a member of the original Broadway cast of “Rent” and is a regular on the television series “Star Trek: Discovery.”
Spacey was accused of groping a man in a club in Massachusetts; the charges against him were eventually withdrawn by the prosecution.
When accused of sexually assaulting three men between 2004 and 2015 while serving as creative director of the Old Vic theater in London, he entered a not guilty plea three months ago.
This past summer, a judge in Los Angeles upheld an arbitrator’s ruling that Spacey must pay $30.9 million to the producers of “House of Cards” for breaching his contract by harassing female staff members.
Unless someone comes forward publicly, as Rapp has done, The Associated Press normally does not name those who are accusing another person of sexual assault.
Because he was residing in a studio apartment rather than the one bedroom that Rapp claimed, and because he had never hosted an event other than a housewarming party, Spacey said during his testimony at the trial that he was certain the encounter with Rapp never took place.
I was aware that I would not be attracted to Anthony Rapp or any child sexually. That I knew, he informed the jury.
Throughout the two days of evidence, Spacey also admitted sorrow for a statement he made when Rapp initially came forward, in which he claimed he didn’t remember the event but that, if it did, he owed Rapp a real apology for what would have been extremely inappropriate intoxicated behavior.
When the #MeToo movement made everyone in the business anxious, Spacey claimed that he had been forced by publicists and attorneys into making an understanding statement. LAW Spacey dabbed his eyes with a tissue.
He stated, “I’ve learnt a lesson: never apologize for something you didn’t do.”
He also sobbed as he stated he regretted coming out as gay the same day as Rapp’s charges since some saw it as an attempt to change the issue or divert attention from Rapp’s discoveries.
Spacey stated that he spoke extremely intimate topics during the trial, including how his father was a white supremacist and neo-Nazi who chastised him for being gay because he enjoyed the theater.
Spacey even momentarily imitated his on-stage co-star from Broadway at the time, Jack Lemon, for the benefit of the courtroom’s viewers. He had previously stated in court that his talent for impersonation helped him in his acting career.