The jury deliberated for less than 90 minutes before returning their verdict Thursday afternoon, the Associated Press reports.
Rapp claimed that in 1986, when he was 14 years old, Spacey invited him to his apartment for a party a few days after meeting at a post-show event when both performers were starring in separate Broadway productions. Rapp alleged that as that party ended, an inebriated Spacey picked him up, placed him on his bed, and climbed on top of him, making a sexual advance.
Rapp delivered emotional testimony in court while recounting the alleged incident, calling it “the most traumatic single event” in his entire life.
Spacey, meanwhile, rejected and denied the accusations entirely, claiming the alleged incident never occurred. Spacey’s attorney’s suggested that Rapp “created a story” and that he came forward with his allegations possibly out of jealousy over Spacey’s successful career.
The lawsuit sought $40 million in damages. Rapp’s lawyers were barred from mentioning or referencing the numerous other legal cases and public allegations of sexual abuse that have been leveled against Spacey, both in the U.S. and Europe.
Following the jury’s verdict, Spacey’s attorney, Jennifer Keller, told reporters, “I’m very grateful to the jury for seeing through these false allegations.”
Rapp released a statement on Twitter Thursday afternoon, addressing the case and his feelings regarding the intentions behind filing the lawsuit in the first place.
“I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to have my case heard before a jury, and I thank the members of the jury for their service,” Rapp wrote. “Bringing this lawsuit was always about shining a light, as part of the larger movement to stand up against all forms of sexual violence.”
“I pledge to keep on advocating for efforts to ensure that we can live and work in a world that is free from sexual violence of any kind,” he continued. “I sincerely hope that survivors continue to tell their stories and fight for accountability.”
— Anthony Rapp SAG-AFTRA National & NY Board Member (@albinokid) October 20, 2022
This legal development comes three months after Spacey pleaded not guilty in a courtroom in London to four charges of sexual assault against three men, related to incidents that allegedly took place between 2005 and 2013. He also pleaded not guilty to one count of “causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent.”
The judge in the case told Spacey and his lawyers that a trial — which is expected to last between three and four weeks — would start June 6, 2023.
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