Kevin Spacey will return to another courtroom on Thursday, as jury selection begins in a civil suit filed by actor Anthony Rapp.
Rapp, best known for his role in “Star Trek: Discovery,” sued Spacey in 2020 for assault, battery and intentionally inflicting emotional distress.
In 2017, Rapp alleged publicly for the first time that in 1986 Spacey made a sexual advance toward him when Rapp was 14 when they both were performing in Broadway shows.
The suit accuses Spacey of groping Rapp’s buttocks and Spacey of placing the then-teen on a bed and putting his body partially on top of Rapp’s.
Spacey publicly apologized shortly after Rapp’s revelation, tweeting that he was “beyond horrified to hear his story” and said that he did not remember the encounter.
“…If I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior, and I am sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him all these years,” Spacey said in his tweet at the time.
Chase Scolnick, an attorney for Spacey, said in a statement to CNN that he expects Spacey will be vindicated at trial.
“We look forward to seeing Mr. Rapp’s claims tried before an impartial jury rather than in social media, and we expect Mr. Spacey will be vindicated,” Scolnick said.
US District Judge Lewis Kaplan will preside over the trial.
As the Me Too movement in 2017 began emboldening sexual misconduct survivors to speak publicly about allegations of abuse by powerful figures, stories began surfacing about Spacey’s alleged inappropriate behavior.
A Massachusetts man alleged that Spacey groped him when he was an 18-year-old busboy at a Nantucket restaurant. A criminal complaint claimed the busboy told police Spacey bought him a number of alcoholic drinks, and allegedly unzipped the accuser’s pants and rubbed his penis, both in and out of his pants, for about three minutes.
Prosecutors eventually dropped the criminal case against Spacey, after the accuser pleaded the fifth on the witness stand after being questioned about his missing cellphone and about whether he deleted text messages.
In addition to the Manhattan civil trial, Spacey also faces criminal charges in England.
Spacey was charged with four counts of sexual assault against three men and one count of causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent by Britain’s Crown Prosecuting Service in May.
The charges relate to two alleged incidents in London in 2005, another two in 2008, and a further incident in Gloucestershire, western England, in 2013. The alleged victim of the 2005 incidents is now in his 40s, while the two men allegedly involved in the 2008 and 2013 incidents are now in their 30s, London’s Metropolitan Police said.
Spacey has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Shortly after a CNN investigation in 2017 revealed multiple current and former members of the production staff of the Netflix series “House of Cards” alleged Spacey harassed them, Netflix cut ties with the actor.
In December 2018, Spacey posted a video to his Twitter account speaking in the persona of his “House of Cards” character Frank Underwood. The character was killed off in the show after Spacey was fired.
“Of course, some believed everything and have just been waiting with bated breath to hear me confess it all,” he said with the character’s Southern accent. “They’re just dying to have me declare that everything said is true and that I got what I deserved. Wouldn’t that be easy if it was all so simple? Only you and I both know it’s not that simple, not in politics and not in life.”
“But you wouldn’t believe the worst without evidence, would you? You wouldn’t rush to judgment without facts, would you? Did you?” he said.
Last year, Spacey was ordered to pay nearly $31 million to Media Rights Capital, the production company behind the show.
He was cast in the Italian film “The Man Who Drew God,” his first project since the allegations surfaced in 2017, which is currently in post-production, according to Imdb.