NEW YORK: A jury has sided with Kevin Spacey in one of the movie star’s career-derailing trials, finding he did not sexually abuse Anthony rapthen 14, when both were relatively unknown actors in Broadway plays in the 1980s.
The verdict of the civil trial came at lightning speed. Jurors in a federal court in New York deliberated for just over an hour before deciding that Rapp had failed to prove his allegations.
Upon reading the verdict, Space lowered his head. Then he hugged lawyers and others before leaving the courtroom.
During the trial, Rapp testified that Spacey invited him to his apartment for a party, then approached him in a bedroom after the other guests left. He said the actor, then 26, picked him up and briefly laid him on top of him on a bed.
Rapp testified that he ran away and fled as an inebriated Spacey asked him if he was sure he wanted to leave.
In his sometimes tearful testimony, Spacey told the jury that this never happened and that he would never have been attracted to someone 14 years old.
The lawsuit sought $40 million in damages.
In closing statements to the jury on Thursday, Rapp’s attorney, Richard Steigmanaccused Spacey of lying on the witness stand.
“He lacks credibility,” Steigman said. “Sometimes the simple truth is best. The simple truth is that it happened,” he said.
Spacey’s attorney, Jennifer Keller, told jurors that Rapp made up the encounter and said they should reject Rapp’s claims.
During her closing argument, she suggested reasons why Rapp imagined meeting Spacey or made it up.
It was possible, she said, that Rapp made it up based on his experience in “Precious Sons,” a play in which actor Ed Harris takes Rapp’s character and lies down on him, the briefly mistaking it for his wife before discovering that he is her son.
She also suggested that Rapp later got jealous that Spacey had become a megastar while Rapp had “smaller roles in smaller shows” after his breakthrough performance in Broadway’s “Rent.”
“So here we are today and Mr. Rapp is getting more attention from this lawsuit than he’s had in his entire acting life,” Keller said.
Rapp, 50, and Spacey, 63, each testified for several days during the three-week trial.
Rapp’s claims, and those of others, abruptly cut short what had been a meteoric career for the two-time Oscar-winning actor, who lost his job on the Netflix series ‘House of Cards’ and saw other opportunities dry up. Rapp is a regular on “Star Trek: Discovery” on television and was part of the original Broadway cast of “Rent.”
After the jurors were sent back to deliberate, Keller won the sympathy of U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan when she complained that Steigman broke trial rules when he ended his summons by telling jurors that he hopes “you don’t let him get away with it”. time.”
Kaplan had established rules intended to prevent jurors from learning about sexual abuse charges against Spacey that were not part of the trial evidence.
Keller called Steigman’s statement “another clear and premeditated attempt to let the jury know” of other allegations against Spacey.
“I’m very concerned,” she added, saying it could affect the verdict.
Kaplan responded by saying that Steigman’s statement “shouldn’t happen” and that if the jury finds in Rapp’s favor, the attorneys may have to make written submissions on the issue. He also said that Rapp during his testimony should not have mentioned that there were other claims made against Spacey.

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