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Kevin Spacey cleared in New York sexual assault civil case

The plaintiff was 14 at the time of the alleged assault in Manhattan in 1986, while Spacey was 26

A NEW YORK court dismissed a $40 million sexual misconduct lawsuit brought against Kevin Spacey by an actor who claimed the disgraced Hollywood star targeted him when he was 14.

A jury found that Anthony Rapp, who was seeking damages for “emotional anguish,” failed to prove that the two-time Oscar winner had “touched a sexual or intimate body part,” leading Judge Lewis Kaplan to dismiss the civil case today.

Rapp, who stars in the series “Star Trek: Discovery,” was 14 at the time of the alleged assault in Manhattan in 1986, while Spacey was 26.

In his lawsuit the actor, now 50, accused Spacey of coming into a bedroom where he was watching television during a party they both attended, of picking him up, lifting him onto a bed and briefly laying down next to him.

According to a court document, Rapp claimed Spacey’s hand “grazed” his buttocks while doing so.

In addressing the court this month, Rapp recounted however that he “felt frozen” during the alleged incident – until he managed to “wiggle his way” out.

Rapp agreed however there had been “no kissing, no undressing, no reaching under clothes, and no sexualized statements or innuendo,” during an incident that had lasted no more than two minutes.

The 63-year-old star of “American Beauty” and “House of Cards” was one of the first stars to be caught up in the global #MeToo reckoning over sexual abuse.

Since Rapp’s accusations first emerged in 2017, Spacey has disappeared from screens and theaters.

He took the stand repeatedly in New York to deny Rapp’s account, saying he had no recollection of attending the party in question with Rapp.

At the time of Rapp’s accusations, Spacey he came out publicly as gay for the first time, which he said led to accusations that he was “trying to change the subject, or trying to deflect.”

During cross-examination in New York, Spacey described a troubled family past, with a father he described as a “white supremacist” and a “neo-Nazi,” who disliked gay people and did not appreciate his son’s interest in the theater.

Spacey said Rapp’s accusations, made public in late 2017, made him feel “shocked, frightened and confused” and that urged by his advisors he issued a public apology which he said he now regrets.

The “Usual Suspects” star has separately pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual assault of three men between March 2005 and April 2013 in Britain, and in 2019, charges against of indecent assault and sexual assault were dropped in Massachusetts.

© AFP 2022 

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