Kevin Spacey has become the first witness in his own defense to take a stand against him in the sexual misconduct lawsuit brought by actor Anthony Rapp.
In response to his attorney Chase Scolnick’s first question, Spacey said Rapp’s claims were untrue.
Previously, actor Anthony Rapp’s attorneys had presented 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 up Rapp, laid him on his bed and his grabbed buttocks and pressed Rapp’s abdomen against Rapp’s body without his consent. He is suing Spacey for battery.
In a big win for Spacey Monday, Judge Lewis Kaplan granted a defense motion to dismiss a lawsuit alleging intentional infliction of emotional distress. Rapp’s attorney tried to convince Kaplan to keep it, but Kaplan said no.
Kaplan previously dismissed an assault claim in the case in June.
Rapp’s lawyer did not comment on Monday’s verdict.
Spacey’s attorneys have attempted to fill in gaps in Rapp’s claims by pointing out inconsistencies, including dates Rapp claimed to have encountered Spacey at industry events.
Before he ended his time on the witness stand last week, Rapp’s attorney Peter Saghir asked the actor if he lied about his allegations against Spacey.
“I hadn’t. Something happened to me that wasn’t okay,” Rapp testified.
In Spacey’s testimony Monday, he also denied the allegations made by Andrew Holtzman, who was called to the witness stand for 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 on the witness stand.
When asked by his attorney, Spacey testified that he had always kept his life and upbringing a secret. He said his late father was a white supremacist and neo-Nazi, a fact he had never previously disclosed publicly.
His father’s biased views fueled his “intolerance” of bigotry, Spacey said, and also partially discouraged him from earlier publicly admitting to being gay.
Spacey said he came to terms with his sexuality because his father used derogatory words about his homosexuality and about 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 while testifying about the statement he made in 2017 in response to Rapp’s allegations released by Buzzfeed, explaining his publicity team told him that if he pushed back, he would be called the victim’s culprit.
“I was encouraged to apologize and I learned a lesson in never apologizing for something you didn’t do,” Spacey testified. “I regret my whole statement.”
He came out as gay in his public response to Rapp’s allegations and testified that he regretted it “within minutes” of the release of his 2017 statement.
“I’ve been accused of attempting to change the subject or to divert attention, or tying an allegation to my homosexuality, which was never my intention,” Spacey said through tears. “I would never have done anything to harm the gay community and I was so upset that that’s what happened. I got it afterwards.”
The trial will resume Tuesday morning when Spacey is expected to be cross-examined.