NEW YORK (AP) — Actor Kevin Spacey asked a judge on Friday to dismiss actor Anthony Rapp’s sex abuse lawsuit, saying through his attorneys that the allegations that he molested the then-teen Rapp at a party in the 1980s , be wrong.
The attorneys wrote in papers filed with federal court in Manhattan that the alleged events Rapp described never took place. Rapp has appeared in “Rent” on Broadway and in “Star Trek: Discovery” on television.
He alleged in his lawsuit that he went to a party at Spacey’s Manhattan home in 1986, where, without Rapp’s consent, a 26-year-old Spacey “made a sexual advance” by grabbing Rapp’s buttocks and lifting him onto a bed and laying him on his Body. Rapp claimed he was “forced to extricate himself” before leaving the party.
Spacey’s attorneys argued that the alleged encounter could not qualify as sexual abuse under New York City laws because Spacey’s only alleged contact with an “intimate” body part was his hand grazing 14-year-old Rapp’s buttocks when the older one Actor tugged him up. Lawyers said Rapp “wobbled out” without resistance during an encounter lasting less than 30 seconds.
There is no other evidence that casual contact between Spacey’s hand and Rapp’s buttocks was for the purpose of sexual gratification or the humiliation or abuse of Rapp, the attorneys wrote.
The lack of evidence means Rapp’s allegations of assault, assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress must fail, the attorneys said.
They said Spacey “flatly denies” that anything Rapp described took place.
Rapp’s attorneys did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
When Rapp first spoke publicly about his claim in 2017, others also went public and Spacey’s then-celebrated career ended abruptly. Back then Spacey made a statement He said he didn’t remember the encounter but apologized.
Spacey won a best actor Oscar for his role in American Beauty, a 1999 film in which he played a frustrated suburban father who longs for his daughter’s best friend.
In recent filings, Rapp’s attorneys have requested that the case be referred to state court, saying Spacey could not prove that he lived in Maryland and qualified for the diversity of citizenship required to remain in federal court .
In fact, they argue, since 2003 he has been based mostly in London.
They said he only lived in Maryland when he starred in his Emmy-winning role on House of Cards from 2014 to 2017. He was fired from the show days after Rapp went public, and former show staffers claimed Spacey made the production a “toxic” workplace and an ex-employee claimed the actor sexually assaulted him.
Spacey appealed the decision to a panel of three other private arbitrators, who ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and made the decision final and public.
A criminal case against him, an indecent assault and a battery charge resulting from an 18-year-old man’s alleged groping at a Nantucket resort, was dismissed by the Massachusetts Attorney’s Office in 2019.