Kevin Spacey on Thursday defeated a sexual abuse case in opposition to him after jurors in Manhattan civil trial discovered his accuser didn’t show his declare that the Oscar winner made an undesirable sexual advance on him when he was 14.
The verdict adopted a three-week trial in Manhattan federal court docket and got here roughly two hours after jurors started deliberating.
Anthony Rapp, now 50, testified that Spacey climbed on high of him on a mattress and pressed his groin into Rapp’s hip till he was capable of wriggle free. Spacey denied the allegation on the stand and mentioned he had by no means been alone with Rapp.
A tearful Spacey, the previous star of the Netflix U.S. political drama “House of Cards,” emerged within the corridor outdoors the courtroom briefly however went again inside. He declined to reply reporters’ questions upon leaving.
Spacey’s lawyer, Jennifer Keller, advised reporters her consumer was grateful jurors “noticed by these false allegations.”
“What’s subsequent is Mr. Spacey goes to be proving that he is harmless of something he is been accused of,” Keller mentioned.
Spacey faces a prison trial in London subsequent yr after pleading not responsible to 5 intercourse offense prices over alleged assaults between 2005 and 2013.
Keller argued throughout her closing arguments that Rapp’s story was a fabrication. She superior a number of theories for why Rapp may need lied, together with a want for consideration or jealousy of Spacey’s appearing success.
“Mr. Rapp is getting extra consideration on this trial than he has in his whole appearing life,” Keller mentioned.
During closing arguments, Rapp’s lawyer urged jurors to discredit Spacey’s recollection of the occasions. “It’s inconsistent. It’s not worthy of your belief,” the lawyer, Richard Steigman, mentioned, citing what he claimed had been gaps in Spacey’s recollection and modifications in his recollection. Steigman declined remark following the decision.
Spacey gained Oscars for performances in “American Beauty” and “The Usual Suspects,” however his profession largely ended after greater than 20 males accused him of sexual misconduct.
Netflix dropped him from “House of Cards” and Christopher Plummer changed him within the function of J. Paul Getty in “All the Money within the World” weeks earlier than the film’s scheduled launch in 2017.
Spacey’s protection challenged Rapp’s recollection of the 1986 encounter, asking why he described it as having taken place in a bed room when Spacey lived in a studio on the time.
Keller argued that Rapp’s recollection of his encounter with Spacey intently resembled a scene within the play Rapp was appearing in on the time, during which an older male actor lifts him up and locations him on a mattress.
The trial in Manhattan federal court docket started on Oct. 6, slightly below 5 years after Spacey’s profession was upended by sexual misconduct allegations within the early days of the #MeToo motion, which inspired girls to talk out about sexual abuse by well-known and highly effective individuals. Men additionally got here ahead with claims of abuse.
Spacey has denied any misconduct.
Keller urged jurors to disregard the sexual politics of the case.
“This isn’t a workforce sport the place you’re both on the MeToo facet or the opposite facet,” Keller mentioned.
Rapp sued Spacey for battery and intentional infliction of emotional misery in November 2020.
During the trial, Judge Lewis A. Kaplan dismissed the emotional misery declare however allowed the remainder of the lawsuit to proceed.
(Reporting by Luc Cohen, Jody Godoy and Jack Queen in New York; Editing by Noeleen Walder, David Bario, Alistair Bell and Mark Porter)