Kevin Spacey did not abuse actor Anthony Rapp in 1986, US jury finds

US actor faces criminal trial in London in 2023 over other allegations

A US jury found Kevin Spacey did not sexually abuse actor Anthony Rapp when Rapp was 14. Reuters
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A US jury found on Thursday that Kevin Spacey did not sexually abuse actor Anthony Rapp when Rapp was 14.

The civil lawsuit, based on claims brought forward by Rapp in 2017, sought $40 million in damages. The verdict came after a three-week trial in Manhattan Federal Court.

Deliberations lasted just over an hour. Spacey dropped his head when the verdict was read, then hugged lawyers and others before leaving the courtroom.

During closing arguments, Rapp's lawyers urged jurors to reject Spacey's recollection of events.

“It’s inconsistent. It's not worthy of your belief,” lawyer Richard Steigman, said, pointing to what he said were changes in Spacey's recollection.

A lawyer for Spacey said Rapp's story was a fabrication.

“Mr Rapp is getting more attention in this trial than he has in his entire acting life,” lawyer Jennifer Keller said.

Rapp, now 50, testified that Spacey made an unwanted sexual advance towards him until he was able to wriggle free.

Spacey testified during the trial, denying the allegation and saying he had never been alone with Rapp.

The trial began about five years after Spacey was accused of sexual misconduct at a time when the #MeToo movement was beginning.

Claims by Rapp and others largely haunted the career of Spacey, who was starring in House of Cards before he was sacked from the Netflix series.

Spacey has denied any misconduct.

The actor faces a criminal trial in London next year after pleading not guilty to sex offence charges over alleged assaults between 2005-2013.

Agencies contributed to this report

Updated: October 21, 2022, 4:47 AM