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A judge has ruled that a man anonymously suing actor Kevin Spacey must publicly reveal his identity in order for the case to move forward.
The man in question filed a $40 million lawsuit in September using the initials “C.D.”, but U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan ruled on Monday that he and his lawyers must reveal his name within 10 days, the Associated Press reports. C.D.’s privacy interest does not outweigh the presumption of open judicial proceedings, Kaplan said, according to the AP report. C.D. proceeding anonymously would also prevent those who may have information that could support Spacey’s case from coming forward because they’d be unaware of it, the ruling stated.
The plaintiff alleges that when he was 12, he met Spacey at an acting class and that by the time he was 14, Spacey invited him to his apartment multiple times and sexually assaulted him, Vanity Fair reports. C.D. filed the suit in tandem with actor Anthony Rapp, who was among the first to accuse Spacey of sexual misconduct in a 2017 interview with Buzzfeed, claiming that Spacey tried to sexually assault him when he was 14 years old. In response to Rapp’s allegations, Spacey said on social media that he did not remember the encounter but apologized for “what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior.”
C.D.’s lawyers said in March that just the thought of having to proceed with the case publicly would cause C.D. “extreme anxiety and psychological distress,” according to the Associated Press. They went so far as to say that, if that were the only option, C.D. would withdraw his complaints, however reluctantly.
But in Monday’s response, Judge Kaplan argued that C.D. already “knowingly and repeatedly took the risk” that his identity would be revealed when he spoke anonymously to publications – including doing an interview for a New Yorker article that Vulture ran online in 2017 – about his claims regarding Spacey and called on Rapp to be the co-plaintiff in the suit, according to the Associated Press. He went on to argue that there’s no avoiding the proposed effects of C.D.’s identity being made public, as C.D. will eventually be required to publicly testify if the case were to move forward.
Neither C.D. nor Spacey’s lawyers returned a request for comment from the Associated Press.
Spacey, 61, has been at the center of numerous sexual misconduct scandals. The Academy Award-winning actor saw a spectacular fall from grace after multiple people came forward with allegations of repeated sexual assault and misconduct in recent years. A sexual battery case against Spacey was dropped in 2019 after his accuser, a massage therapist who accused Spacey of inappropriate sexual conduct during a house call, died. Another case against him, this one involving allegations that Spacey groped a bus boy at a Nantucket restaurant, was also dropped that year after the accuser refused to testify.
Spacey has also been accused of repeated instances of sexual assault in the United Kingdom, but it is unclear if he will face charges in relation to those claims, according to the Associated Press.
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