Kevin Spacey to stand trial in New York for sexually assaulting actor Anthony Rapp when he was 14
Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey is due to stand trial on Thursday, October 6 in a civil trial in New York over an allegation he sexually assaulted actor Anthony Rapp 36 years ago.
Spacey is being sued in New York by Anthony Rapp, who claims the actor inappropriately touched him at a party in 1986 when he was 14 and the lawsuit comes as Spacey, 63, makes separately facing five sexual assault charges in the UK.
In an October 2017 Buzzfeed article, Rapp says Spacey was around 26 or 27 when he met him at a party at his Manhattan apartment.
Rapp said Spacey picked him up, placed him on a bed and partially lay on top of him.
“I was aware that he was trying to be sexually with me,” Mr Rapp said.
His lawsuit says the alleged encounter lasted no more than two minutes and “there were no kisses, no undressing, no reaching under clothing, and no sexualized statements or innuendo.”
Spacey has denied the allegations against him.
Rapp, now 51 and also an actor, and Spacey are expected to be in the Manhattan federal courthouse when the trial opens with jury selection on Thursday.
The lawsuit was filed in September 2020 and it charges Spacey whose real name is Kevin Spacey Fowler with battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Rapp is reportedly seeking $40m (£35m) in damages.
The judge handling the case, Lewis A Kaplan, previously dismissed a sexual assault charge, ruling that the statute of limitations had expired.
A day after the Buzzfeed article was published five years ago, Spacey took to social media to say he had no recollection of what Rapp had described.
“If I then behaved as he describes, I owe him the most sincere apologies for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior,” he wrote.
“And I’m sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him all these years.”
In a video deposition he filmed with attorneys in January, Spacey denied the incident ever happened, according to the Law & Crime news site.
Rapp’s account “couldn’t have been true,” he said, because “I’m not into boys and I don’t touch people inappropriately.”
Separate sexual assault charges alleging Spacey groped an 18-year-old at a restaurant in Nantucket, Massachusetts, in 2016 ended in 2019 after the actor’s lawyers claimed the accuser manipulated text messages on his phone.
In August, a judge ruled that Spacey should pay House of Cards producers $31 million for costs they incurred after firing him from the show.
Also in July, he pleaded not guilty in London to criminal charges of sexually assaulting three men more than a decade ago. This trial is due to begin in June 2023.