Kevin Spacey accuser testifies at trial about 'alarming' encounter

AFP / Alexi J. Rosenfeld

Anthony Rapp, who accused Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey of making unwanted advances at a party in 1986 when Rapp was 14, testified on Friday at a civil trial, saying he felt like a "deer in the headlights".

Rapp, who sued Spacey in November 2020 and is seeking $40 million (AED 147 million) in damages for battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress, said on the witness stand in Manhattan federal court that he was able to "swerve my way out" from an intoxicated Spacey, who was then 26 and acting on Broadway.

But the experience at Spacey's Manhattan apartment "disrupted my sense of belonging" in the theatre community, Rapp said.

"I was this 14-year-old child, and I had no desire to have any kind of experience like this in my life," said Rapp, now 50. "It was incredibly frightening and very alarming and totally antithetical to anything else that I had ever experienced."

Spacey, 63, has denied Rapp's accusations and other misconduct charges. In her opening statement on Thursday, Spacey's lawyer said Rapp invented the incident to try to raise his own profile because he was jealous of Spacey's more successful acting career.

Spacey's defence is expected to cross-examine Rapp, who starred in the Broadway musical "Rent," when the trial resumes on Tuesday.

Spacey won Oscars for best actor in "American Beauty" and best supporting actor in "The Usual Suspects," but his career largely ended after more than 20 men accused him of assault.

Netflix dropped him from its political drama series "House of Cards," and Christopher Plummer replaced him in the role of J. Paul Getty in "All the Money in the World" weeks before the movie's scheduled release.

Spacey faces a criminal trial in London next year after pleading not guilty to five charges over alleged assaults between 2005 and 2013.

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