A New York court’s jury in Anthony Rapp’s $40 million sexual misconduct lawsuit against Kevin Spacey has found the two-time Oscar winner not liable for damages.
Kevin Spacey held not liable for Anthony Rapp’s $40 million sexual misconduct lawsuit
According to Variety, after roughly 80 minutes of deliberations, jurors reached a unanimous decision that Rapp’s lawyers had failed to prove that Spacey “touched a sexual or intimate part” of Rapp. Judge Lewis Kaplan formally dismissed the case, and Spacey dropped his head briefly. He later stood up and hugged Chase Scolnick, a member of his legal team.
In a statement on social media, Rapp made no direct mention of the verdict, but thanked the jury for hearing the case. “Bringing this lawsuit was always about shining a light, as part of the larger movement to stand up against all forms of sexual violence,” he wrote.
“I pledge to keep on advocating for efforts to ensure that we can live and work in a world that is free from sexual violence of any kind. I sincerely hope that survivors continue to tell their stories and fight for accountability.” Actor Anthony Rapp took legal action in September 2020 and had been seeking around $40 million in damages.
The Oscar-winning actor is separately facing five charges in the UK of sexual assault, to which he has pleaded not guilty. That trial is due to begin in June 2023. Rapp said in a 2017 BuzzFeed article, and on the witness stand this week, that in 1986, when he was 14, a 26-year-old Spacey physically picked him up “like a groom picks up a bride,” placed him on a bed, and then climbed on top of him in an attempt to initiate sex.
As the report notes, even though Spacey scored a victory against Rapp, he still faces other legal charges. He has been ordered to pay MRC, the producer of House of Cards, $31 million in damages after the political thriller had its episode-order cut in the wake of abuse allegations against the star. Spacey also faces charges in the U.K. for sexually assaulting three men when he was living in London as the artistic director of the Old Vic theater. The actor has pled not guilty.
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