Kevin Spacey returns to another courtroom on Thursday as jury selection begins in a civil lawsuit filed by actor Anthony Rapp.
Rapp, best known for his role on “Star Trek: Discovery,” sued Spacey in 2020 for assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
In 2017, Rapp first publicly alleged that Spacey sexually advanced on her in 1986 when Rapp was 14 years old while they were both performing in Broadway shows.
The suit accuses Spacey of groping Rapp’s buttocks and Spacey then placing the teenager on a bed and placing his body partially on top of Rapp.
Spacey publicly apologized to Rapp shortly after his appearance, tweeting that he was “horrified to hear her story” and said he had no recollection of the encounter.
“… If I had then behaved as he describes, I owe him my sincerest apology for what would have been inappropriate drunken behavior, and I’m sorry I’ve carried with him all these years the feelings he describes,” Spacey said in his tweet. at that time
Chase Scolnick, Spacey’s attorney, said in a statement to CNN that he expects Spacey to be vindicated at trial.
“We hope that Mr. Rapp’s claims will be tried before an impartial jury rather than on social media, and we hope that Mr. Spacey will be vindicated,” Scolnick said.
U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan will preside over the trial.
In 2017, when the Me Too movement began to encourage survivors of sexual misconduct to speak publicly about allegations of abuse by powerful figures, stories about Spacey’s alleged inappropriate behavior began to surface.
A Massachusetts man alleged that Spacey groped him at a Nantucket restaurant when he was an 18-year-old bus boy. A criminal complaint alleges that the busman told police that Spacey bought him some alcoholic beverages, and allegedly unzipped the accuser’s pants and rubbed his penis, both in and out of his pants, for three minutes.
Prosecutors eventually dropped the criminal case against Spacey after prosecutors called a fifth on the witness stand, asking him about his lost phone and whether he had deleted text messages.
In addition to the civil trial in Manhattan, Spacey also faces criminal charges in England.
Spacey was charged with four counts of sexual assault against three men and one charge of sexual penetration without consent by Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service in May.
The allegations relate to two alleged incidents in London in 2005, two in 2008 and another in 2013 in Gloucestershire, in the west of England. The 2008 and 2013 incidents are now around 30 years old, according to London’s Metropolitan Police.
Spacey has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
In 2017, a CNN investigation revealed that numerous former and current members of the Netflix series “House of Cards” came forward and alleged that they had been harassed by Spacey, prompting Netflix to cut ties with the actor.
In December 2018, Spacey posted a video on his Twitter account talking to “House of Cards” character Frank Underwood. The character was killed off the show after Spacey was fired.
“Of course, some believed it all and have been waiting with bated breath to hear it all confessed,” he said in his character’s southern drawl. “They are dying to declare that everything I said is true and that I got what I deserved. Wouldn’t it be easy if everything was that easy? Only you and I know that it is not so easy, neither in politics nor in life”.
“But you wouldn’t believe the worst without proof, would you? You wouldn’t rush to judgment without facts, would you? Did you have it?” he said.
Last year, Spacey was ordered to pay nearly $31 million to Media Rights Capital, the production company behind the show.
He starred in the Italian film “The Man Who Drew God,” his first project since the allegations surfaced in 2017, which is currently in post-production, according to Imdb.