A New York City jury has ruled that Kevin Spacey is liable for no damages at the conclusion of a contentious sexual misconduct lawsuit brought by Anthony Rapp, multiple outlets report. Rapp had sought $40 million.
The jury took less than two hours to deliberate following closing arguments in the two-week trial. Rapp, who starred in Rent and Star Trek: Discovery, had said that when he was 14 years old, a 26-year-old Spacey made aggressive and unwanted sexual advances towards him. He alleged that Spacey physically lifted him in the air “like a groom picks up a bride,” and moved him to a bed in order to initiate sex. Rapp, now 50, took the stand during the trial, calling the encounter “incredibly upsetting” and the “most traumatic single event of my life.”
Spacey, who had previously publicly apologized to Rapp, said that the encounter never happened, and that a publicist had convinced him to issue a false statement. “It was really wrong,” he said of the apology. His lawyers sought to portray Rapp as a frustrated actor “who grew bitter about not getting parts” with “narcissistic tendencies.”
Spacey’s attorneys also focused on what they said were inconsistencies in Rapp’s story, especially around the floor plan of the apartment where the alleged event occurred. Rapp had recalled a flat with a separate bedroom, while Spacey actually lived in a one-room studio. “The star witness of our case was the floor plan,” Spacey’s attorney Jennifer Keller said in her closing statements.
“Anthony told his truth,” Rapp’s lawyer Richard Steigman told a crowd outside the courthouse. “We respect the jury’s verdict, but it doesn’t change his truth.”
This is not the end of Spacey’s legal troubles. In July, he pleaded not guilty to five counts of sexual assault in the UK, with a trial expected in 2023. He also recently lost an appeal to pay a House of Cards producer $31 million; Spacey was fired from the hit Netflix show after eight crew members accused him of sexual misconduct.