Speed Reads

on trial

Kevin Spacey sexual assault trial to begin 5 years after Anthony Rapp allegations

Five years after Anthony Rapp accused Kevin Spacey of sexual assault, the disgraced House of Cards actor is facing the allegations in court. 

Spacey appeared in federal court in New York on Thursday, where jury selection in his sexual assault trial will begin. This is a civil trial, which came after Rapp sued Spacey for alleged sexual assault. 

The Rent and Star Trek: Discovery actor first came forward with his claims in October 2017, telling BuzzFeed News that Spacey climbed on top of him and made an unwanted sexual advance in 1986, when Rapp was 14 and Spacey was 26. "My stomach churns," Rapp told BuzzFeed. "I still to this day can't wrap my head around so many aspects of it. It's just deeply confusing to me."

In a statement on Twitter at the time, Spacey said he didn't remember the encounter with Rapp but that "if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior." Rapp's allegation prompted a wave of other men to come forward with similar claims against the actor. 

Rapp filed a lawsuit against Spacey in 2020, alleging he "sustained psychological injuries" including "severe emotional distress, humiliation, fright, anger, depression and anxiety." He's seeking damages. Spacey's team has denied Rapp's allegations, maintaining that the actor "never had a sexual encounter with Mr. Rapp," BuzzFeed News reports

This trial comes after Spacey was charged in the U.K. in May with sexually assaulting three men. He has pleaded not guilty to those charges. According to The Associated Press, his New York trial is expected to last less than two weeks.