NEW YORK (AP) — Actor Kevin Spacey on Friday asked a judge to dismiss actor Anthony Rapp’s sexual abuse lawsuit, saying through his attorneys that allegations that he abused Rapp while teenager at a 1980s party were fake.
The attorneys wrote in documents filed in Manhattan federal court that the alleged events described by Rapp never happened. Rapp appeared in “Rent” on Broadway and in “Star Trek: Discovery” on television.
He alleged in his lawsuit that he went to a party in 1986 at Spacey’s Manhattan home, where a 26-year-old Spacey, without Rapp’s consent, “engaged in a sexual advance” by grabbing Rapp’s butt and lifting him onto a bed and laying him down. on his body. Rapp claimed that he “was forced out” before leaving the party.
Spacey’s attorneys argued that the alleged encounter could not qualify as sexual abuse under New York law because the only alleged contact with an “intimate” body part by Spacey was when his hand brushed the buttocks of 14-year-old Rapp when the older actor cast him. at the top. Lawyers said Rapp “withdrew” without resistance in an encounter lasting less than 30 seconds.
There was no other evidence to suggest fleeting contact between Spacey’s hand and Rapp’s buttocks was for the purpose of sexual gratification or to degrade or abuse Rapp, the attorneys wrote.
The lack of evidence means Rapp’s claims of assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress must fail, the lawyers said.
They said Spacey “categorically denies” anything Rapp described ever happened.
Rapp’s attorneys did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
When Rapp first spoke publicly about his claim in 2017, others also went public, and Spacey’s then-famous career came to an abrupt halt. At the time, Spacey released a statement saying he did not recall the encounter but apologized.
Spacey won a best actor Oscar for his role in “American Beauty,” a 1999 film in which he played a frustrated suburban dad who lusts after his daughter’s best friend.
In recent filings, Rapp’s attorneys have asked to move the case to state court, saying Spacey can’t prove he lived in Maryland and qualifies for necessary diversity citizenship. to stay in federal court.
In fact, they claim, he has lived mainly in London since 2003.
They said he only lived in Maryland when he played his Emmy-winning role on “House of Cards” from 2014 to 2017. He was fired from the show days after Rapp went public and d Former show workers claimed Spacey made the production a ‘toxic’ workplace and a former employee alleged the actor sexually assaulted him.
In November, an arbitrator ruled that Spacey and his production companies had to pay $31 million to the studio behind the Netflix political thriller because of losses incurred after he was fired.
Spacey appealed the decision to a panel of three other private arbitrators, who agreed with the plaintiffs, making the decision final and public.
A criminal case against him, a charge of indecent assault and battery resulting from the alleged groping of an 18-year-old man at a Nantucket resort, was dismissed by Massachusetts prosecutors in 2019.