Kevin Spacey takes the stand in a New York courtroom to deny Anthony Rapp’s sexual abuse claims

NEW YORK — Kevin Spacey testified Monday in a New York courtroom that he never committed a sexual act against actor Anthony Rapp, who is suing, claiming the Oscar-winning actor tried to take him to bed when he was 14.

Identifying himself as “Kevin Spacey Fowler,” the actor was asked about Rapp’s claims that the then-26-year-old Spacey picked him up as a groomsman after a party in 1986 and placed him on the bed before laying on top of him. him.

Rapp testified earlier in the trial that he wriggled out from under Spacey in a fully clothed encounter before fleeing the apartment, only for Spacey to follow him to the door and ask if he was sure he wanted to leave.

“They are not true,” Spacey said of the allegations.

Spacey said he met Rapp and another aspiring actor, John Barrowman, backstage after Spacey’s Broadway performance in “Long Day’s Journey into Night.” He said he took them to dinner, a nightclub and eventually to his studio apartment, where he flirted with Barrowman – then 19 – but showed no interest in Rapp before the two visitors left.

“Anthony Rapp acted like a child and John Barrowman acted like a man,” Spacey said in the report, which was backed up by Barrowman’s statements.

Rapp testified that he and Barrowman went home immediately after going out to the nightclub and that Spacey first invited him to the apartment days later. He said Spacey waited for the other party guests to leave before going after him.

Spacey also described his dismay at a 2017 report in which Rapp went public with his allegations.

At the time, as the #MeToo movement took off, “the industry was very nervous. There was a lot of fear in the air about who was going to be next,” he said.

He added: “I was shocked. I was scared and confused… I knew I was never alone with Anthony Rapp.”

He also told jurors he never had “sexual interest in Anthony Rapp or any child. I knew that.”

Spacey wiped his eyes as he described being pressured to give a statement saying he didn’t remember anything happening with Rapp, but would be sorry “if” it was somehow true. His managers said it was the “best way to contain a “crisis that is about to get worse” and avoid being accused of “victim shaming”, he said.

Now he added: “I regret my whole statement.”

Spacey was also asked if he has been private about his personal life throughout his career.

“I grew up in a very complicated family dynamic,” he said, explaining that his father’s rants when he was young made him hate bigotry and intolerance.

“My father was white and a neo-Nazi,” Spacey said. “This meant that my siblings and I were forced to listen to hours and hours of my father lecturing us about his beliefs.”

Spacey called it “humiliating and terrifying when friends come to the house” because he was never sure what his father might say to them or him.

“Everything about what went on in that house was something I had to keep to myself. We never, ever talked about it. I never spoke publicly about those things,” he said.

As Spacey became interested in theater, he said, he endured screams from his father, who was “yelling at me at the idea that I could be gay.”

Spacey’s testimony began two hours after Judge Lewis A. Kaplan dismissed the intentional infliction of emotional distress claim after Rapp’s lawyers finished presenting their evidence. Kaplan said elements of the claim duplicate Rapp’s claim that he was the victim of assault and battery.

Spacey’s attorney moved to dismiss the case on the grounds that Rapp’s attorneys failed to prove his claims.

Kaplan said the trial could proceed with assault and battery claims made by Rapp, a 50-year-old regular on television’s “Star Trek: Discovery.” He was part of the original Broadway cast of “Rent.”

Spacey, 63, was an Oscar-winning actor popular on the Netflix series “House of Cards” when the 2017 allegations by Rapp and others abruptly derailed his career.

Rapp was performing in “Precious Sons” on Broadway in 1986 when he met Spacey.

Rapp testified several days earlier in the trial, which entered its third week on Monday.

The Associated Press typically does not name people who allege sexual assault unless they come forward publicly, as Rapp did.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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