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Lawsuit accusing Kevin Spacey of groping is dismissed after accuser’s death

Kevin Spacey
Kevin Spacey in 2016.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Disgraced actor Kevin Spacey has emerged somewhat victorious from another legal battle.

The Oscar winner’s federal lawsuit involving a massage therapist who accused him of sexual assault was dismissed Monday, according to court documents obtained by The Times. The dismissal comes nearly four months after the anonymous accuser died unexpectedly ahead of the trial.

The case, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, was dismissed with prejudice — meaning that it cannot be refiled. Sky Alves, a special administrator and legal representative for the masseur’s estate, was also appointed and named as the plaintiff for the record instead of the John Doe.

“Alves and [Kevin Spacey] Fowler, acting through counsel ... stipulate and agree to the dismissal with prejudice of this action, including all claims stated against all parties, with each party to bear his or its own attorneys’ fees and costs. The dismissal with prejudice shall occur immediately upon substitution of Alves as plaintiff,” the documents said.

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Actor Kevin Spacey, who has kept a low profile amid legal woes, has returned in a creepy Christmas video advising his fans to “kill them with kindness.”

The civil lawsuit, which involved an anonymous masseur who claimed the actor forced him to touch his genitals during a treatment at Spacey’s Malibu home in October 2016, was dismissed by the masseur’s estate. Spacey has denied the therapist’s allegations.

“Contrary to some news reports, Mr. Spacey paid no money to ‘settle’ the lawsuit,” Spacey’s attorney Jennifer L. Keller told The Times. “The plaintiff’s estate simply decided to dismiss the lawsuit with prejudice, meaning it cannot be [refiled] and we agreed to the dismissal.”

Attorneys for the late John Doe did not immediately respond to The Times’ requests for comment on Tuesday.

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In October, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office also said Spacey would not face criminal charges in the sexual-assault case because the “allegations cannot be proved without participation of the victim.”

The dismissal comes about a week after Spacey, who has kept a relatively low profile in the wake of the allegations, posted another ominous video that was interpreted as his way of dealing with the scandals enveloping his life and career.

Appearing to don his “House of Cards” persona, Frank Underwood, in the holiday clip, Spacey said that he’d made changes in his life and invited fans to cast their vote “for more good in this world.”

“The next time someone does something you don’t like, you could go on the attack. But you could also hold your fire and do the unexpected. You can ... kill them with kindness,” he said.

Kevin Spacey was charged with indecent assault and battery last year in the only criminal case that has been brought against the actor since his career collapsed amid a slew of sexual misconduct allegations.

Two days later, it was reported that Ari Behn, a respected Scandinavian author who accused Spacey of groping him at a Nobel Peace Prize concert, had committed suicide.

Spacey faced a slew of legal battles from men accusing him of sexual misconduct during the dawn of the #MeToo movement. Separate criminal and civil cases in Massachusetts were also dropped over the summer. The actor is still under investigation in London for alleged sexual assaults.

The once-celebrated actor came under intense scrutiny in October 2017 after BuzzFeed published a report in which actor Anthony Rapp alleged that Spacey made a sexual advance toward him at a party in 1986, when Rapp was 14 years old.

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Hours after Rapp’s story appeared online, Spacey responded to the allegation on Twitter, apologizing to Rapp, even though he said he did not remember the encounter Rapp alleged. Spacey then revealed that he is gay, but was widely criticized for coming out in that moment.

The actor was then dismissed from his leading role in Netflix’s “House of Cards.” The critically acclaimed series proceeded with its final season without the the actor and unceremoniously killed off his character, the conniving Underwood. He also was dropped from Ridley Scott’s “All the Money in the World.”


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