At Sexual Misconduct Trial Kevin Spacey And Accuser Exchange Conflicting Testimonies
As a civil trial over Anthony Rapp’s allegations got underway in New York, attorneys for the actor Kevin Spacey and the man whose accusations of sexual assault upended the Oscar winner’s career disputed conflicting tales about the men’s interactions more than 30 years earlier.
Rapp’s attorney said in his opening statement that Spacey, then 26 and intoxicated, lifted Rapp onto a bed and climbed on top of him at a party at Spacey’s New York apartment in 1986. Rapp is suing for $40 million in damages. At the time, Rapp was a 14-year-old actor who had just begun his own Broadway career.
Rapp was able to “wriggle out” and leave, but not before Spacey followed him to the front door and questioned his decision. Rapp’s attorney, Peter Saghir, told the jury in federal court in Manhattan.
“Kevin Spacey is a fantastic actor, no doubt about that,” Saghir said. “Every time Anthony hears that, hears Kevin Spacey’s name, he’s back in that apartment in 1986.”
The 63-year-old Spacey has refuted Rapp’s and other allegations of sexual misconduct. Rapp, who is now 50, filed the complaint in November 2020, accusing the defendant of violence and purposely causing him emotional distress. Rapp, according to Saghir, had already alerted others about Spacey’s inappropriate approach.
In a late 2017 interview with BuzzFeed, at the height of the #MeToo movement, which encouraged victims to speak up about sexual abuse at the hands of prominent and powerful people, Rapp, well known for his role in the Broadway musical “Rent,” revealed his experience with Spacey.
According to Spacey’s lawyer Jennifer Keller, Rapp made up the event because he was jealous of Spacey’s success in the acting world. She asserted that a scene from the play he was appearing in at the time was identical to Rapp’s description of the purported meeting.
“He’s been telling this story for attention, for sympathy, and to raise his own profile,” Keller said. “He never became the international star that Kevin Spacey is… he has been simmering and simmering with resentment all along.”
Despite winning Oscars for best supporting actor in “The Usual Suspects” and best actor in “American Beauty,” Spacey’s career was effectively over after more than 20 men accused him of sexual misconduct.
Just a few weeks before the film’s intended release, Netflix (NFLX.O) fired him from its political drama “House of Cards,” and Christopher Plummer took his place in the part of J. Paul Getty in “All the Money in the World.”
After entering a not guilty plea to five sex offense charges stemming from alleged assaults between 2005 and 2013, Spacey will face a criminal trial in London the following year.
He was accused of sexually abusing an 18-year-old guy in a Nantucket bar in 2016 and charged with indecent assault there in 2018. However, the charges were eventually withdrawn after the alleged victim declined to testify.