After Kevin Spacey verdict, accuser Anthony Rapp vows to ‘fight for accountability’
Hours after a New York jury found that Kevin Spacey did not molest him in the ‘80s, “Star Trek: Discovery” actor Anthony Rapp said his sexual assault lawsuit and its accompanying civil trial against the former “House of Cards” star represent something bigger.
“I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to have my case heard before a jury, and I thank the members of the jury for their service,” he said in a statement posted on Twitter. “Bringing this lawsuit was always about shining a light, as part of the larger movement to stand up against all forms of sexual violence.”
In September 2020, the former “Rent” actor and another man (identified only by the initials C.D.) filed a $40-million lawsuit against Spacey accusing the two-time Oscar winner of sexual assaults in the ‘80s, when they were teenagers.
In a 2017 BuzzFeed News story, Rapp alleged that he was molested when he was 14 in Spacey’s Manhattan apartment in 1986.
The verdict in a Manhattan court brings to an end a civil trial that was an outgrowth of the #MeToo movement. The lawsuit sought $40 million in damages.
C.D., who alleged that Spacey engaged in sex with him and tried to sodomize him when he was around 14, would not reveal his identity to the court and was dropped from the case in June 2021.
After a three-week civil trial, a federal court concluded Thursday that Spacey, 63, did not sexually abuse Rapp, 50. Deliberations lasted a little more than an hour. When the jury cleared Spacey of the allegations, he hugged lawyers and others before leaving the courtroom.
In an email statement to The Times on Thursday, Rapp’s attorney Richard Steigman maintained that “Anthony told his truth in court,” but added that “we respect the jury’s verdict.”
Representatives for Spacey did not immediately respond to The Times’ request for comment on Thursday.
According to CNN, one of Spacey’s attorneys commented on the verdict while leaving court Thursday.
“We are very grateful to the jury for seeing through these false allegations,” said Jennifer Keller.
While the verdict didn’t lean the way Rapp and his team had hoped, the actor said he will continue to speak out against sexual abuse.
The ‘House of Cards’ makers say they lost tens of millions of dollars after Kevin Spacey was fired from the show on allegations of sexual harassment.
“I pledge to keep on advocating for efforts to ensure that we can live and work in a world that is free from sexual violence of any kind,” he added. “I sincerely hope that survivors continue to tell their stories and fight for accountability.”
Before the verdict, Rapp received support from fellow actor Alex Winter. The “Bill & Ted Face the Music” star celebrated Rapp for his “Herculean courage to speak out about one’s childhood sexual abuse.”
“Every survivor of CSA is strengthened when even one of us takes a public stand,” Winter wrote on Twitter.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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