Accused of sexually assaulting a teenager in 1986, Kevin Spacey in civil trial in New York
Fallen Hollywood megastar Kevin Spacey appears from Thursday in New York in a civil lawsuit brought by American actor Anthony Rapp, who accuses him of sexual assault when he was 14 in 1986.
A two-time Oscar-winning theatre, film and television actor, full name Kevin Spacey Fowler, 63, has disappeared from screens and boards since he was one of the first performers to be swept away five years ago. in October 2017, by the global wave #Metoo, born in the United States.
His accuser is American actor Anthony Rapp, who stars in the 'Star Trek: Discovery' series and turns 51 this month. He had filed a complaint in September 2020 against Mr. Spacey for advances and an alleged sexual assault at a party in Manhattan in 1986.
Anthony Rapp was a 14-year-old teenager. Kevin Spacey was then double that.
Kevin Spacey, whose world fame was built from the 1980s thanks to his characters from the films “American Beauty” and “Usual Suspects” and the series “House of Cards”, has always denied the allegations of sexual assault.
At the end of October 2017, when the #Metoo movement launched by women in the film industry first brought down the untouchable producer Harvey Weinstein, Mr. Rapp accused Mr. Spacey for the first time, in great detail, in the media BuzzFeed News .
The next day on Twitter, Kevin Spacey presents his “sincere apologies” to him for his “drunk and deeply inappropriate behavior (as a man).
After his complaint of 2020, Anthony Rapp's lawsuit is dropped in federal criminal court, but it thrives in civil.
Kevin Spacey will therefore be tried from Thursday 9:30 a.m. (1:30 p.m. GMT) by a popular jury of the Manhattan Federal Civil Court presided over by Judge Lewis Kaplan, 77.
“Mr. Spacey will appear Thursday and throughout the trial. We look forward to him being able to defend himself before an impartial jury,” his lawyer Jennifer Keller replied to AFP in an email.
Before this civil court, Kevin Spacey can be sentenced to significant damages.
But the initial accusation of “sexual assault” brought by Anthony Rapp was ultimately not accepted by Judge Kaplan, the federal magistrate considering that this qualification could not cover facts already prescribed and did not fall within the scope either. of a 2019 New York State child protection law.
However, Judge Kaplan recognizes in his order that, during the New York party of 1986, “according to what Mr. Rapp said, Mr. Fowler (Kevin Spacey, editor's note) had raised him, his hand had +rubbed+ the garment covering Mr. Rapp's buttocks for a few seconds, then Mr. Fowler had put Mr. Rapp on a bed, on his back, before lying down fully clothed, briefly and partly on his side and on his Mr. Rapp”, who was only 14 years old.
“No kissing, no touching”
The teenager had then quickly “ extirpated” and had left the party, according to justice.
During his deposition, 35 years after the events, Anthony Rapp agreed that there had been “no kissing, no undressing, no touching under clothing and no statements or insinuations of a sexual nature” during an “exchange which had lasted no more than two minutes.
Kevin Spacey has already been in trouble with the law in the United States and the United Kingdom.
In August, a California judge ordered him to pay almost $31 million to the production company of the series “House of Cards”, from which he had been fired following accusations of sexual harassment.
< p>Charges he has always denied.
In London, he was prosecuted for sexual assaults on three men between March 2005 and April 2013, when he was a theater director, and for which he pleaded not guilty last July.
And in Massachusetts, Kevin Spacey was charged with indecent assault and sexual assault in July 2016 at a 18 year old bar boy. Charges dropped in July 2019.