the law

Kevin Spacey to Face Sexual-Abuse Claims on Trial in New York

Photo: Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald/MediaNews Group via Getty Images

Years after he was first accused of sexual abuse, Kevin Spacey is finally set to stand trial. A judge ruled that a sexual-abuse lawsuit against the fallen star — brought by actor Anthony Rapp, the first in a wave of Spacey accusers in 2017 — will go to trial in New York federal court, set to begin October 4. A judge rejected Spacey’s request to dismiss the civil suit, per Reuters, while dismissing Rapp’s assault claim because of a statute of limitations. The remaining claims are battery and infliction of emotional distressed related to an alleged incident when Rapp was 14. He testified that the incident lasted less than two minutes and did not involve kissing or undressing; Spacey denies it happened.

The case initially involved a second anonymous accuser, who claimed to Vulture that he had a sexual relationship with Spacey when he was 14 and that the actor later attempted to rape him. His claims were dismissed after Spacey’s lawyers took issue with his anonymity, given that he spoke to press about his allegations. Rapp came forward about his allegations in a 2017 BuzzFeed News interview with the actor saying the alleged abuse was “just deeply confusing to me.”

Spacey was recently charged with four counts of sexual assault against three men in the U.K. The charges stemmed from investigations that began shortly after Rapp’s initial allegation, and all incidents allegedly took place during Spacey’s tenure as artistic director of London’s Old Vic Theatre. The criminal charges were announced while Spacey attended a hearing for Rapp’s civil suit. Spacey has maintained his innocence.

Kevin Spacey to Stand Trial for Sexual-Abuse Claims