A New York jury sided with Kevin Spacey in a $40-million civil lawsuit, finding that the Oscar-winning actor did not molest fellow actor Anthony Rapp when the latter was a teenager and is not liable for battery, Yahoo! Entertainment reported.
After deliberating for about 80 minutes, jurors unanimously decided that Rapp's lawyers had failed to prove that Spacey "touched a sexual or intimate part" of Rapp.
In a statement on social media, Rappwho first made his claims in a 2017 BuzzFeed articlemade no direct mention of the verdict, but thanked the jury for hearing the case. "Bringing this lawsuit was always about shining a light, as part of the larger movement to stand up against all forms of sexual violence," he wrote.
Among other things, Spacey's attorneys noted inconsistencies in Rapp's testimony; they also argued that Rapp was upset that Spacey was not openly gay and that he was consumed with jealousy over the actor's Hollywood career.
When Rapp first went public with his claims, Spacey was contrite, stating, "the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior." In court, Spacey said he was pressured by his publicist to make that statement.
[UPDATE: Rapp later tweeted a statement, saying, in part, "Bringing this lawsuit was always about shining a light, as part of the larger movement to stand up against all forms of sexual violence. I pledge to keep on advocating for efforts to ensure that we can live and work in a world that is free from sexual violence of any kind. I sincerely hope that survivors continue to tell their stories and fight for accountability."]
However, Spacey is not out of the legal woods yet, CNN noted. The two-time Oscar winner 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. Spacey has pled not guilty to the charges.
Also, on Aug. 4, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mel Red Recana confirmed that Spacey must pay House of Cards producer MRC nearly $31 million for alleged sexual misconduct behind the scenes of the Netflix show, according to Deadline.