Spacey trial proceeds after his lawyer contracts COVID-19

NEW YORK (AP) — Actor Kevin Spacey’s attorney has tested positive for COVID-19, but the week-long civil sex abuse trial resumed Thursday with testimony from a psychologist.

U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan said his first concern after attorney Jennifer Keller tested positive Thursday morning was to make sure the jury was safe and courthouse protocols were being followed. He said all jurors were at least partially vaccinated.

Keller, who was not in the Manhattan courtroom Thursday, questioned actor Anthony Rapp on Wednesday about his allegations that Spacey made a sexual advance to him in 1986 when he was 14 years old. At the time, Spacey was 26 years old. Spacey, now 63, has denied Rapp’s claim.

How the process will continue after Thursday was unclear. Kaplan said the trial could be postponed until next Wednesday so at least two jurors who may have been close to Keller when she questioned Rapp could be tested for the coronavirus in a few days to make sure they are not sick . Face masks are optional in the courtroom and Keller wore none on a Wednesday.

Rapp’s attorneys were nearing the end of presenting their case against Spacey when Keller fell ill. An attorney for Spacey said she was showing symptoms late Wednesday night.

Testimony at the trial so far has focused on Rapp’s claim that Spacey approached him after a party at his Manhattan apartment in 1986 while Rapp was sitting on a bed watching television.

Rapp, now 50, testified that Spacey lifted him onto a bed and pressed his clothed body against Rapp’s clothed body before Rapp squirmed out and ran to a bathroom before exiting the apartment.

Through his attorneys, Spacey has denied the encounter ever took place, although he has not yet testified. He arrived at the courthouse later than usual on Thursday.

Rapp is seeking $40 million in damages for what he describes as psychological harm.

Lisa Rocchio, a forensic psychologist who examined Rapp, testified Wednesday that he experienced “an enormous amount of shame, guilt and confusion” after meeting Spacey.

Her testimony continued on Thursday.

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