News & Politics

Anthony To Fight For Accountability

A jury today declared Kevin Spacey not responsible for damages in Anthony Rapp’s $40 million sexual misconduct lawsuit against him. After eight days of testimony, they had only discussed for a little more than an hour.

A face masked Spacey bowed his head as the verdict was announced and then seemed to wipe away tears. Later, he stood up, turned around, and hugged both his attorneys and manager, Evan Lowenstein. Rapp, who was sitting next to his counsel, fixed his gaze forward.

After a three-week trial in federal court in Manhattan, the verdict was announced around two hours into the jury’s deliberations.

Anthony Rapp, now 50, claimed in court that Kevin Spacey jumped onto a bed with him and pressed his groin into Rapp’s hip until Rapp was able to escape. On the witness stand, Spacey refuted the claim and asserted that they were never by themselves.

What went down?

Anthony Rapp watched the Tony Awards in June at the residence of his close friend and fellow performer Camryn Manheim. But with the Tonys, Rapp suddenly felt anxiety, which he had never felt before.

And it’s because Kevin Spacey was the host that evening.

Rapp claims for the first time in public in an interview with BuzzFeed News that Spacey made friends with him while they were both actors on Broadway in 1986, invited him to a party at his apartment, and then picked him up, laid him on his bed, and made sexual advances toward him at the end of the night. Spacey was 26 years old, per the records available.

What did Kevin Spacey say in his defense?

In the third week of his trial, Mr. Spacey, testifying in his own defense, claimed he was astonished when Mr. Rapp made his accusations public five years prior.

The 63-year-old stated, “I didn’t know how this could possibly be true,” adding that Mr. Rapp’s age prevented him from having a sexual interest in him.

Richard Steigman, the attorney for Mr. Rapp, claimed there were holes in Mr. Spacey’s memories and shifts in his recollection.

Jennifer Keller, the attorney for Mr. Spacey, responded that Mr. Rapp had made up his allegation and claimed that he was “receiving more exposure in this trial than he has in his whole playing existence.”

What does this verdict mean for Kevin Spacey? 

The decision represents a significant win for Spacey, who has been accused of wrongdoing and sexual assault on several occasions (he has refuted the charges pressed against him). In addition to the civil lawsuit Rapp filed, he will stand trial in London in June of 2019 on five sexual assault charges related to claims that he assaulted three men between 2005 and 2013. 

Spacey has entered a not-guilty plea to the allegations. In 2017, Rapp was one of the first individuals to openly accuse Spacey of wrongdoing.

What did Anthony Rapp say amid Kevin Spacey’s trial win?

Actor Anthony Rapp of “Star Trek: Discovery” claims that his sexual assault complaint and the civil trial that will follow it against the former “House of Cards” star are part of a larger movement.

In a statement shared on Twitter, he stated, “I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to have my case heard before a jury, and I thank the members of the jury for their service.” The purpose of filing this action, as part of a larger effort to combat all types of sexual abuse, has always been to shine a light on the issue.

Rapp’s attorney Richard Steigman said in an email to The Times on Thursday that “Anthony told his truth in court,” but added that they accept the jury’s finding.

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