Kevin Spacey goes to court 5 years after allegations of sexual misconduct by actor Anthony Rapp

Kevin Spacey’s sexual assault trial begins Thursday in Manhattan


Kevin Spacey’s sexual assault trial begins Thursday in Manhattan

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Kevin Spacey goes to court Thursday to defend himself in a lawsuit he filed Anthony Rappthe actor who in 2017 made the first in a series of sexual harassment allegations that left the “House of Cards” star’s theater and film career in tatters.

The trial, expected to last less than two weeks, will center on an alleged encounter between the two men in New York in 1986, when Rapp was a burgeoning child actor and Spacey, then 26, was having a breakout moment on Broadway. .

Rapp, who was 14 at the time, said the older actor invited him to a party at his Manhattan apartment and then tried to seduce him into a bedroom after the other guests had left.

He said a drunken, swaying Spacey swept him into his arms like a groom carrying a bride, then laid him on a bed and climbed on top of him. Rapp said he was quickly up and running, then kept quiet about what happened for three decades as both actors saw their careers take off.

When Rapp told his story to Buzzfeed in 2017, as the #MeToo movement began to dominate Hollywood, Spacey said he didn’t remember of the incident, “but if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been profound drunken misconduct.”

Since then, however, Spacey’s legal team has said the accusation is false. Rapp never attended the party, they said. And even if it had happened as Rapp described, they argued, it would not have constituted sexual promotion.

Jury selection for the trial begins Thursday, with opening statements to follow. Rapp wants compensation for mental and emotional suffering, medical expenses and lost work.

The trial comes at a difficult time for Spacey, now 63.

Three months ago he pleaded not guilty in London to allegations that he sexually assaulted three men between 2004 and 2015 when he was artistic director at the Old Vic theatre.


Kevin Spacey appears in UK court on sexual assault charges

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Spacey was questioned by British police in 2019 over allegations made by several men that he had assaulted them.

“It sounds like Kevin Spacey feels there’s still a chance he can be rehabilitated in this country. So I think the strategy is to come here, face the music and see if he can salvage his career,” Danny Rogers said. , editor-in-chief of PRWeek UK, told CBS News in June. “It has to feel like the damage is being done to the ‘Brand Kevin Spacey’ after all the allegations over the last five or 10 years. So if the damage has been done, there’s still some progress to be made by fighting new allegations.”

A judge in Los Angeles this summer upheld an arbitrator’s decision to to order Spacey to pay $30.9 million to the creators of Netflix’s “House of Cards” for breaching its contract by sexually harassing cast members.

Those setbacks followed some wins for Spacey, who has recently returned to acting in films.

In 2019, prosecutors in Massachusetts dropped indecent assault and battery charges filed after a man claimed Spacey molested him at a Nantucket bar. Spacey said he was innocent. His accuser also withdrew a civil suit.

Spacey won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in “American Beauty,” a 1999 film in which he played a frustrated suburban father who lusts after his teenage daughter’s best friend.

Rapp, who as a teenager starred in movies like “Adventures in Babysitting,” was part of the original Broadway cast of “Rent” and is now a regular on TV’s “Star Trek: Discovery.”

Both Rapp and Spacey are expected to testify at the trial.

Other witnesses will likely include a psychologist who believes Rapp is currently experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the encounter with Spacey.

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