Kevin Spacey testifies in his defense in civil trial



CNN

Kevin Spacey has taken the stand as the first witness in his own defense in the sexual misconduct lawsuit brought against him by actor Anthony Rapp.

In an answer to the first question from his attorney, Jay Barron, Spacey said Rapp’s allegations are not true.

Earlier, lawyers for actor Anthony Rapp had finished presenting their case against Spacey.

Rapp, best known for his role on “Star Trek: Discovery,” claims that Spacey, then 26, invited Rapp, then 14, to his Manhattan home in 1986, where he picked Rapp up, laid him on his bed, stretched his buttocks and pressed his crotch into Rapp’s body without his permission. He’s suing Spacey for battery.

In a big win for Spacey on Monday, Judge Lewis Kaplan granted a defense request to dismiss a claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress. Rapp’s lawyer tried to convince Kaplan to keep it in, but Kaplan said no.

Kaplan rejected a sexual assault claim in this case earlier in June.

Rapp’s lawyer had no comment on Monday’s ruling.

Spacey’s attorneys have tried to poke holes in Rapp’s claims by pointing to discrepancies, including data that Rapp claimed to have encountered Spacey at industry events.

Before ending his time in the stands last week, Rapp’s attorney Peter Saghir asked the actor if he had lied about his allegations against Spacey.

“I haven’t. It was something that happened to me that wasn’t okay,” Rapp testified.

In Spacey’s testimony Monday, he also denied the allegations of Andrew Holtzman, who was called up to Rapp’s team earlier in the trial.

Holtzman publicly claimed in 2017 that Spacey grabbed his crotch and pressed his body against him without his consent, which Spacey denied in the stands.

Attorney Chase Scolnick questions Kevin Spacey as he testifies during Anthony Rapp's civil suit against him on Monday.

At the request of his lawyer, Spacey testified that he has always been private about his life and his upbringing. He said his late father was a white supremacist and neo-Nazi, a fact he testified he had never disclosed publicly before.

His father’s biased views fueled his “intolerance” to bigotry, Spacey said, and partly prevented him from admitting publicly that he’s gay before.

Spacey said he struggled with his sexuality because his father used derogatory language about being gay and toward Spacey’s interest in theater.

He wanted fans to remember the roles he played, so he purposely kept quiet about his personal life, Spacey testified.

Spacey got emotional when he testified about the 2017 statement he made in response to Rapp’s allegations, published by Buzzfeed, that his publicity team advised him that he would be called a victim accuser if he pushed back.

“I was encouraged to apologize and I learned a lesson that you never apologize for something you didn’t do,” Spacey testified. “I regret my entire statement.”

He came out as gay in his public response to Rapp’s allegations and testified that he regretted it “within minutes” of releasing his 2017 statement.

“I was accused of trying to change the subject, or try to avert it, or confuse an accusation with being gay, which was never my intention,” Spacey said in tears. “I would never have done anything to hurt the gay community, and I was so upset that that’s what happened. Afterwards I understood.”

The trial resumes Tuesday morning, when Spacey is expected to be cross-examined.

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