In a victory for Kevin Spacey, a New York jury on Thursday found him not liable for battery on allegations he picked up actor Anthony Rapp and briefly laid on top of him in a bed after a party in 1986.
via: NBC News
The jury of six men and six women deliberated for just under 90 minutes on Thursday afternoon. Rapp appeared stoic as the verdict was read by the court but his lawyers appeared dejected as they left the courthouse in downtown Manhattan.
Spacey could be seen hugging one of his lawyers when the verdict was read.
Rapp alleged that Spacey climbed on top of him at a party in New York City in 1986, when Rapp was 14 and Spacey was 26. Rapp, best known for his role in the musical “Rent,” testified that the alleged encounter was “the most traumatic single event” of his life.
Spacey flatly denied Rapp’s allegations, saying under oath that “they are not true.” His lawyers argued that Rapp “created a story” in large part because he was jealous of their client’s success in the entertainment industry.
The two men delivered emotional testimonies on the witness stand during the civil trial in federal court in downtown Manhattan.
Rapp fought back tears and spoke with a pained expression as he recalled the details of the alleged encounter he described as “incredibly frightening and very alarming.” He testified that he felt inspired to go public with his claims in the early days of the #MeToo movement in 2017.
“I didn’t ask for him to do that,” he told jurors, referring to Spacey’s alleged sexual advance. “I didn’t want him to do that.”
Spacey, for his part, repeatedly broke down crying during his testimony. In a quavering voice, he told jurors about his “humiliating and terrifying” upbringing as the son of a man he described as a “white supremacist and neo-Nazi.”
“I have never talked about these things publicly, ever,” he said.
Rapp, who stars in “Star Trek: Discovery,” filed a lawsuit against Spacey in 2020 based on three claims: assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.