NY — A jury sided with Kevin Spacey in one of the lawsuits that destroyed his career, saying he did not sexually abuse Anthony Rapp, then 14, in 1986. The civil trial verdict came quickly. Federal court jurors in New York decided Rapp hadn’t established his charges after an hour of deliberation. Spacey bowed his head and hugged his lawyers after hearing the judgement. He exited the courthouse without speaking to reporters.
Jennifer Keller, his counsel, thanked the jurors for recognising the bogus accusations. Next, Mr. Spacey’s innocence will be confirmed. She referred to additional sexual assault claims against the actor, including criminal prosecution in England.
Rapp claimed that Spacey invited him to a party, then approached him in a bedroom after the others left. He said Spacey, then 26, grabbed him up and laid on top of him on a bed before he escaped as an intoxicated Spacey asked if he was sure he wanted to leave. Spacey told the jury it never happened and he was never drawn to a 14-year-old.
Damages totaled $40 million.
Rapp’s lawyers also left without speaking to reporters. Richard Steigman, Rapp’s attorney, accused Spacey of lying in closing arguments Thursday. Steigman: “He’s unreliable.” “Simple honesty is preferable sometimes. This happened.” Rapp, 50, and Spacey, 63, testified at the three-week trial.
The two-time Oscar winner lost his position on “House of Cards” and had other prospects dry up after Rapp’s allegations. Rapp was in the original Broadway cast of “Rent” Prosecutors dropped groping accusations against Spacey in Massachusetts.
Three months ago, he pleaded not guilty in London to sexually assaulting three men between 2004 and 2015 at the Old Vic theatre. A Los Angeles judge authorised an arbitrator’s judgement to require Spacey to pay $30.9 million for sexually assaulting staff members.
AP doesn’t name sexual assault accusers unless they come forward, as Rapp has. At trial, Spacey said he was sure the interaction with Rapp never happened because he lived in a studio apartment rather than the one bedroom Rapp mentioned and never had a gathering beyond a housewarming celebration.
“I had no sexual interest in Anthony Rapp or any child. He told jurors, “I knew.”
Keller indicated Rapp imagined his interaction with Spacey during final arguments.
She suggested it was conceivable Rapp devised it after starring in “Precious Sons,” in which Ed Harris lays on Rapp’s character, mistaking him for his wife until realising it’s his son.
She also said Rapp was upset that Spacey became a megastar while he had “minor jobs in small shows” after “Rent.”
Keller: “He wasn’t famous.” “Rapp’s coach is a pumpkin.”
Keller: “Mr. Rapp is gaining more attention from this trial than in his acting career.” She said Rapp is famous because he beat a Hollywood star.