The disgraced House of Cards actor faces the allegations in court five years after Anthony Rapp accused him of sexual assault.
Kevin Spacey, 63, arrived in federal court in New York on Thursday to defend himself against Rapp’s sexual assault lawsuit. This civil trial came after Anthony Rapp, best known for his role in the original Broadway cast of Rent, sued Spacey for making unwanted sexual advances toward him at a party in 1986.
Rapp came forward with his claims in October 2017, telling BuzzFeed News that Spacey grabbed his buttocks, lifted him onto a bed, and then laid on him before Rapp escaped to the bathroom “fearing for his safety.” By then, Rapp was 14 while Spacey was 26 years old.
“My stomach churns,” Rapp told BuzzFeed. “I still, to this day, can’t wrap my head around so many aspects of it. It’s just deeply confusing to me.”
Rapp said he left the bathroom minutes later and then left the apartment, despite Spacey’s efforts to get him to stay. Spacey is now facing a $40 million sexual assault lawsuit, though he denied it.
Immediately after Rapp’s 2017 accusation, Spacey wrote a statement on Twitter claiming he doesn’t remember the encounter with Rapp but that “if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology.”
“I’m beyond horrified to hear this story,” Spacey said at the time. “I honestly do not remember the encounter; it would have been 30 years ago. But if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior. I am sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him all these years.”
Spacey is also facing charges in the U.K for sexually assaulting three men. The trial is scheduled to start in June, and Spacey has pleaded not guilty to those charges. According to The Associated Press, Spacey’s New York trial is expected to last less than two weeks.