Kevin Spacey is currently facing a civil lawsuit trial in New York over abuse allegations made by actor Anthony Rapp. The latter has accused Spacey of making unwanted advances towards him back in 1986 when he was just 14 years old.
Trigger Warning: The following article contains topics that may be disturbing to some readers. Discretion is advised.
On Thursday, October 6, Rapp’s lawyer Peter Saghir told a lower Manhattan court that Spacey’s behavior was “wrong and unacceptable.” He said:
“Kevin Spacey is a fantastic actor, no doubt about that. But every time Anthony hears that, hears Kevin Spacey’s name, he’s back in that apartment in 1986.”
Saghir recalled that on the night of the incident, the-then 14-year-old Rapp and 19-year-old actor John Barrowman attended a performance of Jack Lemmon and Kevin Spacey starrer Long Day’s Journey into Night.
The attorney claimed that Rapp allegedly went to a party at Spacey’s apartment following the show and felt “uncomfortable” after realizing he was the only minor at the venue. The former then went into the bedroom to watch TV and did not notice other guests leaving due to a partially closed door.
Shortly after, an inebriated Spacey allegedly entered the room and carried Rapp “like a groom would a bride over the threshold.” The lawyer alleged that Spacey placed Rapp on a bed before putting “the full weight of his body on Anthony.”
He mentioned that Rapp managed to “wriggle” out from under Spacey before leaving the apartment. Saghir added:
“Every time he hears Kevin Spacey’s name it brings back that night. This violation has affected Anthony in specific ways that haven’t been fully described.”
Anthony Rapp previously claimed that he suffered from PTSD due to the incident and sued Kevin Spacey in November 2020 over alleged “battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.” He is seeking $40m in compensatory and punitive damages.
Everything to know about Anthony Rapp
Anthony Rapp is an American stage and film actor and singer, best known for playing the role of Mark Cohen in the 1996 Broadway production of Rent. He later reprised the role in the film version of the show and the U.S. Broadway Tour in 2009.
The actor is also recognized for portraying Charlie Brown in the 1999 Broadway revival of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Lucas in the 2014 musical If/Then, and Lieutenant Commander Paul Stamets on the television series Star Trek: Discovery.
Rapp released a solo CD titled Look Around in 2000 and published a memoir called Without You: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical Rent in 2006. It reportedly took him six years to complete the manuscript of the memoir that revolved around his experiences with Rent and his relationship with his mother.
Kevin Spacey’s attorney denies Anthony Rapp’s allegations
On Thursday, the 12-member jury trial (six men and six women) began for Kevin Spacey vs. Anthony Rapp’s civil lawsuit. Both actors were present inside the courtroom during the hearing, but are yet to provide direct testimony in relation to the case.
As Rapp’s lawyer detailed the alleged assault accusations against Spacey, the latter’s attorney Jennifer Keller denied the allegations and other instances of misconduct. She said:
“We look forward to a trial by jury with actual evidence rather than trial by social media.”
Keller said that Spacey invited Rapp and Barrowman to the club on the day of the incident, but Rapp was “something of a third wheel” as the former “flirted” with Barrowman. She claimed that the evening failed to turn out as Spacey had planned, and he allegedly hoped “the kid would go home.”
The lawyer further alleged that “no party” took place at Spacey’s residence and that there was no bedroom in his studio apartment like Rapp mentioned in his suit. She also denied claims of Spacey being “intoxicated” and “swaying” into the room:
“This story just doesn’t add up with objective facts.”
Kevin Spacey’s defense team also claimed that Anthony Rapp made up the story, taking reference from a similar scene in Precious Sons, in which he previously acted. Keller claimed:
“He’s been telling this story for attention, for sympathy, and to raise his own profile. He never became the international star that Kevin Spacey is… he has been simmering and simmering with resentment all along.”
The lawyer also alleged that Rapp “repeated his story to all and sundry” and clairified that Spacey apologized when the former first mentioned the incident in his 2017 Buzzfeed interview because he “panicked.”
After Rapp publicly shared the abuse allegations against Spacey during his 2017 interview, the Oscar Award winner apologized for his actions and said he did not remember the encounter:
“I honestly do not remember the encounter, it would have been 30 years ago. If I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior.”
However, Spacey’s attorney mentioned that the defense is “very confident” that once the jury hears from both sides, they will be “convinced this alleged assault never happened.”
Following Anthony Rapp’s allegations against Kevin Spacey in 2017, more than a dozen other individuals also accused the actor of misconduct.
In addition to the New York trial, Spacey is set to face a separate criminal trial in London over pleading not guilty to five different assault allegations between 2005 and 2013.
He was also charged in Massachusetts in 2018 for allegedly abusing an 18-year-old man at a Nantucket bar in 2016. The charges were later dropped after the alleged victim refused to testify.
Both Kevin Spacey and Anthony Rapp are expected to testify in the Manhattan civil lawsuit trial in the days to come.