A jury has concluded that Kevin Spacey did not molest actor Anthony Rapp when Mr Rapp was 14, while both were relatively unknown actors in Broadway plays in the 1980s.
The Manhattan Federal Court ruling brings to a close a civil lawsuit that was a result of the #MeToo movement.
The lawsuit, based on claims made by Mr Rapp in 2017, sought $40million (£35.6million) in damages.
The deliberations lasted a little over an hour. As the verdict was read, Mr. Spacey bowed his head. But then he hugged lawyers and others before exiting the courtroom.
Earlier Thursday, Mr. Rapp’s attorney, Richard Steigman, asked the jury to make Mr. Spacey pay for attempting to sexually advance Mr. Rapp in Mr. Spacey’s Manhattan apartment after a party in 1986 . He accused Mr Spacey of lying on the witness stand.
Jennifer Keller, an attorney for Mr. Spacey, told jurors that Mr. Rapp fabricated the encounter and said they should dismiss Mr. Rapp’s claims.
Mr Rapp, 50, and Mr Spacey, 63, each testified for several days in the three-week trial.
In his closing speech, Mr. Steigman said the jury should come to the conclusion that Mr. Spacey lied to them when he insisted the encounter could not have happened, in part because Mr. Rapp claimed it was in a one-bedroom apartment happened and Mr Spacey lived in a studio.
“It lacks credibility,” Mr. Steigman said. As for his client, the attorney said he filed the lawsuit “to hold Kevin Spacey accountable.”
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“Sometimes the simple truth is the best. The simple truth is that this happened,” he said.
During her closing argument, Ms. Keller attempted to suggest reasons why Mr. Rapp would make up the encounter with Mr. Spacey, in which he said Mr. Spacey picked him up and laid him briefly on a bed in his apartment.
At that time Mr. Rapp was 14 and Mr. Spacey was 26 years old. Mr Rapp testified that he squirmed out of the flat and fled, only to meet a drunk Mr Spacey at the door, who asked if he was sure he wanted to leave.
Mr. Spacey’s lawyers said it’s possible Mr. Rapp invented it based on his experience appearing in Precious Sons, a play in which actor Ed Harris picks up Mr. Rapp’s character and lays on him, briefly linking him with his wife confused before discovering it is his son.
She also suggested Mr Rapp later became jealous that Mr Spacey was becoming a megastar while Mr Rapp had “smaller roles in small shows” after his breakthrough performance in Broadway’s Rent.
“So here we are today, and Mr. Rapp is getting more exposure through this process than he has in his entire acting life,” Ms. Keller said.
Ms. Keller said after the trial that the defense was “very grateful to the jury for seeing through these false allegations.”
https://www.independent.ie/style/celebrity/celebrity-news/jury-kevin-spacey-did-not-molest-actor-anthony-rapp-in-1986-42083690.html Jury: Kevin Spacey did not molest actor Anthony Rapp in 1986