Speed Reads

Spacey Out

Jury sides with Kevin Spacey over accuser in sexual misconduct civil trial

A jury in federal court in Manhattan on Thursday found Kevin Spacey not liable in a sexual assault lawsuit brought by actor Anthony Rapp. Rapp's accusation that Spacey inappropriately touched him at a party in 1986, when Rapp was 14 and Spacey was 26, led to other men coming forward and accusing Spacey of sexual misconduct, derailing Spacey's acting career. The jury, after deliberating for little more than an hour, decided that Rapp had failed to prove his allegations. 

Rapp and Spacey both testified in the three-week trial. Rapp told the court that Spacey had invited him to a party at his apartment and then, after the other guests left, led him to a bedroom, picked him up, put him on a bed, and laid partially on top of him, before Rapp wriggled out from under him. Spacey, who came out as gay after Rapp's 2017 allegation, said he is sure the encounter never happened because he lived in a studio apartment at the time, never hosted parties, and "wouldn't have any sexual interest in Anthony Rapp or any child."

Spacey also testified that his father was a white supremacist and homophobe, said he regretted his choice to come out right after Rapp lodged his accusation, and explained that he offered a qualified apology at the time because his publicists and lawyers pressured him to issue an empathetic statement during what was the height of the #MeToo movement. "I've learned a lesson, which is never apologize for something you didn't do," he testified.

Prosecutors in Massachusetts dropped charges against Spacey for allegedly groping a man at a bar, but the actor still faces criminal charges in London. Spacey pleaded not guilty in July to sexually assaulting three men in England between 2004 and 2015, and that case is set to go to trial in June 2023.