HHollywood actor Kevin Spacey has been acquitted of sexual harassment charges in a civil trial. A jury in New York ruled Thursday after brief deliberations that actor Anthony Rapp (“Star Trek: Discovery”) could not prove that Spacey touched him on a “sexual or intimate part of the body” more than 35 years ago when he was 14 have. Rapp’s claim for damages of 40 million dollars (almost 41 million euros) against the two-time Oscar winner was rejected.
The now 50-year-old Rapp had accused Spacey, known from films such as “The Usual Suspects” and “American Beauty” as well as the hit Netflix series “House of Cards”, of sexually harassing him at a party in Manhattan in 1986. According to this, the then 26-year-old Spacey grabbed his butt, lifted him onto a bed and lay on him.
“I learned a lesson”
Spacey has firmly denied the allegations. During the civil trial, the 63-year-old said the allegations were “not true”.
Rapp made his allegations against Spacey public in an interview at the end of October 2017, shortly after the start of the #MeToo movement. Spacey apologized for “extremely inappropriate behavior while intoxicated”. But he couldn’t remember the incident.
At the trial, Spacey said he regretted apologizing on the advice of his agents. “I learned a lesson,” he said. “Never apologize for something you didn’t do.”
Rapp filed a criminal complaint against Spacey in 2020 alleging sexual assault, but a judge dismissed it. The actor then filed a civil lawsuit.
Spacey was a celebrated Hollywood star for a long time until allegations of abuse in the course of the #MeToo movement suddenly turned him into an outlaw. Rapp’s allegations against Spacey aren’t the only allegations against the 63-year-old. In the UK, Spacey is charged with four assaults against three men between 2005 and 2013. In July, Spacey pleaded not guilty in a London court.