Kevin Spacey is currently on trial in New York, accused of sexual misconduct, but there are no criminal charges involved.
The Hollywood star was sued in a civil lawsuit by theater and film actor Anthony Rapp for an alleged accident nearly 40 years ago.
Following the jury selection in early October, the multimillion-dollar trial is now underway Spacious63-year-old, attending the United States District Court hearing for New York’s Southern District in Manhattan.
In a US civil case, any allegation needs only to be proven “on the balance of probabilities” rather than by the criminal standard “beyond a reasonable doubt”.
The trial is chaired by Judge Lewis A Kaplan and is expected to last approximately two weeks in total. Here’s everything you need to know so far.
The allegations against Spacey
Rapp, now 50, is accusing Spacey of sexual misconduct in 1986, when he was 14 and Spacey 26. Spacey has “flatly denied” the allegations.
The younger actor says he attended a party at Spacey’s Manhattan apartment while starring in the Broadway play Precious Sons; Spacey was co-starring in another Broadway comedy, A Long Day’s Journey Into The Night, at the time.
Rapp states that at the end of the party, a drunken Spacey picked him up, put him on the bed and climbed on top of him, before he could escape and leave the apartment.
He filed a lawsuit in 2020 and is seeking compensatory and punitive damages of up to $ 40 million (approximately £ 35.9 million).
After the allegations broke out, Spacey was cut out of the already-finished film All The Money In The World and replaced by Christopher Plummer as J Paul Getty. He was also fired from the political drama series House Of Cards.
He will appear in the upcoming films Peter Five Eight, a thriller and in the Franco Nero-directed drama The Man Who Drew God.
Who is Anthony Rapp?
Rapp was the first man to publicly accuse Spacey of inappropriate sexual advances, in an interview with BuzzFeed in October 2017.
A child actor who made his Broadway debut at age 10, he has appeared in shows including Six Degrees Of Separation and You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown. He also had a starring role as Mark Cohen in the original cast of the Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Rent.
Film credits include Adventures In Babysitting, A Beautiful Mind, Dazed And Confused, and currently the Paramount + Star Trek: Discovery series.
What did Rapp say in court?
Speaking of the alleged incident, Rapp said: “I was frozen … I didn’t know what to do.”
He told the court that after he walked into a bedroom to watch TV and get away from the adults, a drunken-looking Spacey joined him after other guests left.
Rapp said Spacey pressed the “full weight” of his chest and groin before he was able to leave.
When asked how he would respond to anyone who belittled the gravity of what would happen, he described himself as a frightened child trying to fend off a grown man.
He later told the court that he continued to watch Spacey in many movies.
“I am an actor and I love movies: these films have been acclaimed and awarded,” he said. “I felt that seeing them was part of my job, I knew he was there so I could prepare.
“I felt like it was my duty as a fellow actor, as a person, as part of this community – I had to put that aside.”
He also denied telling BuzzFeed article writer Adam Vary to “get away from specificity” and said the alleged misconduct was “the single most traumatic event” of his life.
What did Spacey say?
The plaintiff has “categorically denied” the allegations and claims he “has no sexual interest or desire in Mr. Rapp at the time and after” the incident.
Spacey’s attorneys said in a legal filing that Rapp’s “allegations are, quite simply, false and never occurred”.
Attorney Jennifer L Keller has suggested that Rapp sue because he is angry about his own career.
“He became bitter for not getting parts as an openly gay man,” she said.
Spacey has yet to provide evidence.
Who else has testified?
The first witness, a 68-year-old man, was called by Rapp’s lawyers.
He told the court that he was working in his office at the New York Shakespeare Festival in the summer of 1981 when Spacey walked in and sat down at a vacant desk used by actors and others.
He claimed that Spacey approached him, got sexually aroused and grabbed him.
What else has been said in court so far?
TV presenter and actor John Barrowman was also mentioned during the hearing, with the court told by Spacey’s lawyer that the actor had flirted with the then 19-year-old in 1986, but “nothing inappropriate happened.”
Spacey invited the Torchwood star to his apartment alongside Rapp, a high school friend, on another occasion prior to the alleged incident at the center of the trial, the court was told.
Ms. Keller said they had dinner and her client’s attention was on Barrowman all evening.
He cited part of a deposition from Barrowman, which has not yet been made public, which alleged that after returning to Spacey’s apartment the couple lay on their bed but did not engage in any sexual activity due to Rapp’s presence. .
The process continues.