Kevin Spacey testifies for his defense in a civil lawsuit




CNN

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

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

Earlier, actor Anthony Rapp’s lawyers finished presenting their case against Spacey.

Rapp, best known for his role in “Star Trek: Discovery,” claims that in 1986 Spacey, then 26, invited Rapp, then 14, to his Manhattan home where he picked up Rapp, laid him down on his bed, grabbed his bottom and pressed his groin into Rapp’s body without his consent. He chases Spacey for drums.

In a major victory for Spacey on Monday, Judge Lewis Kaplan granted a defense motion to dismiss an allegation of intentional infliction of emotional distress. Rapp’s lawyer tried to convince Kaplan to keep him, but Kaplan said no.

Kaplan previously dismissed an assault complaint in the case in June.

Rapp’s attorney did not comment on Monday’s decision.

Spacey’s attorneys attempted to poke holes in Rapp’s claims by pointing out discrepancies, including the dates Rapp claimed to have met Spacey at industry events.

Before completing his term on the helm last week, Rapp’s attorney, Peter Saghir, asked the actor if he lied about his allegations against Spacey.

“I didn’t. It was something that happened to me that was wrong,” Rapp said.

In Spacey’s testimony on Monday, he also denied allegations made by Andrew Holtzman, who took the stand earlier in Rapp’s team trial.

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

Attorney Chase Scolnick interviews Kevin Spacey as he testifies in Anthony Rapp's civil sexual abuse case against him on Monday.

When questioned by his attorney, Spacey said he had always been deprived of his life and education. He said his late father was a white supremacist and neo-Nazi, a fact he said he had never publicly disclosed before.

His father’s prejudicial views fostered his “intolerance” of bigotry, Spacey said, and also, in part, prevented him from publicly acknowledging that he is gay earlier.

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

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

Spacey became emotional testifying to the 2017 statement he released in response to Rapp’s allegations published by Buzzfeed, saying his publicity team informed him he would be labeled a victim blamer if he pushed back.

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

He came out 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 trying to deflect, or confusing an allegation 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 was what happened. I understood that in hindsight.”

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