Closing arguments are underway in the civil sexual misconduct trial against Kevin Spacey, stemming from allegations made by actor Anthony Rapp.
Attorney Richard Steigman began by presenting a closing argument for Rapp in the New York courtroom on Thursday morning.
Best known for his role in “Star Trek: Discovery,” Rapp claims that in 1986, Spacey, then 26, invited Rapp, then 14, to his Manhattan home where he picked Rapp up, laid him down on his bed, grabbed his buttocks and pressed his groin into Rapp’s body without his consent.
He is suing Spacey for battery.
Judge Lewis Kaplan dismissed Rapp’s claim of assault before the trial started and dismissed his claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress after Rapp’s attorneys rested his case, leaving the jury to decide only the battery claim. Under New York law, battery is touching another person, without their consent, in a way that a reasonable person would find offensive.
Spacey, who finished testifying earlier this week, told the jury Rapp’s allegations were not true. The Oscar winner grew emotional multiple times during his time on the stand, including when he discussed a statement he put out shortly after Rapp went public with his allegations in 2017 to BuzzFeed.
Spacey has said in his testimony that his publicity team at the time advised him that he’d be labeled a victim blamer if he pushed back.
“I was being encouraged to apologize and I’ve learned a lesson which is never apologize for something you didn’t do,” Spacey testified on Monday. “I regret my entire statement.”
During the course of the nine-day trial, Spacey’s attorneys have attempted to poke holes in Rapp’s claims by pointing to discrepancies, including dates Rapp claimed to have run into Spacey at industry events.
Before ending his time on the stand last week, Rapp’s attorney Peter Saghir asked the actor if he had been lying about his allegations against Spacey.
“I have not. It was something that happened to me that was not okay,” Rapp testified.
The case could go to the jury as early as Thursday.