A New York jury sided with Kevin Spacey on Thursday in sexual assault claim brought against him in the civil suit by Star Trek: Discovery actor Anthony Rapp, finding he did not sexually abuse Rapp when he was 14 and Spacey was 26, while both were unknown Broadway actors in 1986, Variety reports.
During the civil sexual-misconduct trial, in which Rapp was seeking $40 million, the younger actor testified that Spacey had him over to his apartment for a party, then approached him in a bedroom after guests left. He said the actor, then 26, picked him up and laid partially on top of him before he wriggled away as a drunk Spacey asked if he was sure he wanted to leave.
In occasionally emotional testimony, Spacey told the jury that incident never happened, especially as he would never have been attracted to someone who was 14.
Jurors at a federal court in New York deliberated for about 80 minuts before arriving at the decision that Rapp hadn’t proven his allegations.
“We’re very grateful to the jury for seeing through these false allegations,” said Spacey’s attorney, Jennifer Keller.
“What’s next is Mr. Spacey is going to be proven that he’s innocent of anything he’s been accused of. That there was no truth to any of the allegations,” she added, referring to other sexual misconduct claims against the actor, including criminal charges in England.
In a statement on social media, Rapp did not mention the verdict directly, but thanked the jury for listening to the case. “Bringing this lawsuit was always about shining a light, as part of the larger movement to stand up against all forms of sexual violence,” he wrote. “I pledge to keep on advocating for efforts to ensure that we can live and work in a world that is free from sexual violence of any kind. I sincerely hope that survivors continue to tell their stories and fight for accountability.”
— Anthony Rapp SAG-AFTRA National & NY Board Member (@albinokid) October 20, 2022
Sexual misconduct allegations first surfaced about Spacey in 2017, when actor Anthony Rapp alleged that an apparently intoxicated Spacey made sexual advances toward him in 1986, when Rapp was 14 and Spacey was 26. While Spacey offered a partial apology—an opportunity he also used to come out as gay, which did not land well—claiming not to remember the event but sanctioning the behavior all the same, the news set off a chain reaction of even more accusations, eventually totaling over 30.
Spacey also faces charges in the U.K. for sexually assaulting three men, during the time when he was living in London and working as the artistic director of the Old Vic theater. He has pleaded not guilty.