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A New York jury on Thursday found Kevin Spacey not guilty of sexually touching 36 years ago on the person of Anthony Rapp, an actor whose accusations, at the start of the #MeToo movement, had contributed to the downfall of the star from the “House of Cards” series.
A popular jury in a civil court in New York on Thursday (October 20th) dismissed actor Anthony Rapp, who accused fallen Hollywood star Kevin Spacey of sexually touching him when he was a teenager during a a night out in Manhattan 36 years ago.
The jury delivered its decision after a short deliberation, rejecting claims by Anthony Rapp, 50, who was seeking $40 million in damages.
“Quick and clear verdict”
Shortly after the reading of the deliberations, Kevin Spacey left the court, rushing into the back of a black vehicle without making any statements to reporters.
“Mr. Spacey is satisfied to live in a country where citizens have the right to be judged by impartial jurors who make their decision on evidence and not on rumors or on social networks”, rejoiced his lawyer. Jennifer Keller. In an email to AFP, she welcomed a “quick and clean verdict” and that “justice has been done”.
Anthony Rapp, apparently released from the back of the Manhattan courthouse, “gave his truth to the court,” his attorney Peter Saghir said in a statement. “If we respect the jury’s verdict, it doesn’t change what happened to him,” he added.
The case, revealed at the end of October 2017 – at the very beginning of the #MeToo phenomenon of free speech on sexual violence – was followed by other accusations of sexual assault against the actor, causing him to be sidelined in the entertainment world.
The one who played a politician ready to do anything to acquire power in Washington, in the worldwide hit Netflix series “House of Cards”, has not finished with legal troubles. The 63-year-old actor is still being prosecuted for sexual assaults against three men between March 2005 and April 2013, when he was director of a London theater, and for which he pleaded not guilty last July.
In New York, the popular jury of 12 answered in the negative the question of whether Anthony Rapp, who had filed a complaint in 2020, had demonstrated that “Kevin Spacey had touched his private parts”, in May 1986, at the occasion of a party he gave in his apartment in New York.
Anthony Rapp, who plays in the series “Star Trek: Discovery”, was then 14 years old, while Kevin Spacey was 26. At the time, one and the other played on the boards of Broadway in New York, in two separate shows.
The two actors were present throughout the trial since it opened on October 6. Each maintained version of the facts. Anthony Rapp assured that during the evening, Kevin Spacey had traumatized him by picking him up in his arms and carrying him “like a groom carries his bride”, before putting him on his bed and briefly lying against him. him, fully dressed. According to a June order which recorded the facts, “his hand” had then “rubbed for a few seconds the garment covering (the) buttocks” of Anthony Rapp.
The actor revealed to the general public for his roles in “Seven” (1995) and “Usual Suspects” (1996, Oscar for best supporting role), then consecrated in 2000 by an Oscar for best actor (“American Beauty”) vigorously disputed the charges.
“It’s not true!”, He assured Tuesday, during his cross-examination led by Anthony Rapp’s lawyer. He said he had met Anthony Rapp in May 1986, but with another comedian, John Barrowman, 19 at the time, and that he had flirted not with the first, but with the second.
Why then did he apologize in October 2017 – while saying he had no recollection of the facts – when the affair came to light? Kevin Spacey explained that he had done so on the recommendation of his agents. At the time, he used the opportunity to come out as gay, which brought him even more criticism, with some accusing him of trying to divert attention.
In court, Kevin Spacey explained that his homosexuality had always been a difficult subject for him, in particular because of the rejection of his father, whom he described as a “white supremacist” and “neo-Nazi”.