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Lawsuit Against Kevin Spacey Over Alleged Sexual Assault Of 14-Year-Old In 1986 Can Proceed
A federal judge rejected Kevin Spacey’s attempt to dismiss the lawsuit against him brought by actor Anthony Rapp, who has accused Spacey of touching his buttocks and laying partially on top of him on a bed during a 1986 party at Spacey's home.
Most of a lawsuit against Kevin Spacey, accusing the Oscar-winning actor of sexual abuse in the 1980s, can proceed in federal court, according to a judge’s ruling Monday.
U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan rejected Spacey’s attempt to dismiss the entirety of lawsuit, which accuses Spacey of sexually assaulting actor Anthony Rapp at a Manhattan party in his home in 1986, when Rapp was just 14 years old, according to Reuters.
The lawsuit originally accused Spacey, 62, of assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. And, while Kaplan largely sided with Rapp in allowing the case to proceed, he did dismiss the assault claim after determining that it was filed past the statute of limitations.
Rapp accused Spacey of making an unwanted sexual advance after Spacey invited him to a party at his home.
According to Kaplan’s ruling, Rapp has alleged that, during the party, Spacey “lifted him up,” at which point Spacey’s hand “grazed” his clothed buttocks, before placing him down on a bed. Spacey then “placed his own clothed body partially beside and partially across Mr. Rapp’s,” the latter alleges.
The encounter — which Rapp has previously said in a deposition lasted less than two minutes — allegedly ended when Rapp quickly “wriggled out” from underneath Spacey and then left the premises.
Rapp testified during the deposition that there had been “no kissing, no undressing, no reaching under clothes and no sexualized statements or innuendo,” Kaplan wrote.
Rapp, 50, is seeking compensatory and punitive damages.
Spacey has adamantly denied the allegations.
“Plaintiff’s allegations are, quite simply, false and never occurred,” his attorneys wrote in their motion for summary judgement, which was obtained by Law & Crime.
Kaplan noted in his ruling that there was a “genuine issue of material fact” about whether Spacey had forcibly touched Rapp’s “intimate parts,” adding that it was up to the jury to determine whether the “American Beauty” star had allegedly acted that night “for the purpose of gratifying…sexual desire.”
The state of New York passed a Child Victim Act in 2019 that temporarily allowed victims of sexual abuse to file civil suits after the regular statute of limitations had expired.
Rapp filed his lawsuit based on that act; however, Kaplan dismissed the common law assault allegation, ruling it had not been included in the temporary waiver of the statute of limitations for certain acts.
The battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress claims can proceed, Kaplan ruled.
Spacey had been in New York for an evidentiary hearing in the Rapp case on the same day in May that London’s Metropolitan Police announced four counts of sexual assault had been filed against Spacey for allegations involving three separate men, CNN reports.
The criminal charges, which were filed after police were given authority by the Crown Prosecution Service, stemmed from allegations that Spacey had sexually assaulted the men between March 2005 and April 2013.
In a statement to “Good Morning America” at the time, Spacey said he planned to “voluntarily appear” in London to defend himself against the allegations and said he was “confident” he’d prove his innocence.
Rapp’s allegations first surfaced in 2017. As a result, Spacey was fired from his high-profile role in Netflix’s “House of Cards,” which continued production without him.