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Actor Kevin Spacey (centre) leaves court in New York on Monday. Photo: AP

In tears, Kevin Spacey denies sex abuse claim, says he regrets apology

  • Actor Anthony Rapp has accused the Oscar winner of climbing on top of him at a party in 1986, when Rapp was 14
  • When the accusation went public, Spacey came out as gay in a statement and apologised for his behaviour, which he says now says he shouldn’t have done

Kevin Spacey said in court on Monday that he regretted apologising to actor Anthony Rapp over claims that the Oscar winner made an unwanted sexual advance in 1986 when Rapp was 14.

Rapp, now 50, sued Spacey in 2020 for battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress, and testified earlier this month that an intoxicated Spacey – then 26 and acting on Broadway – climbed on top of him at a party at his Manhattan apartment.

Rapp, at the start of his own Broadway career at the time, said he was able to “swerve my way out” but that the experience scarred him.

US District Judge Lewis Kaplan earlier on Monday dismissed Rapp’s emotional distress claim, but allowed the battery claim to stand.

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Spacey took the stand in his own defence in Manhattan federal court and said the allegation was “not true”, and that he had never been alone with Rapp. He testified that he was “shocked” when Rapp went public with his claim in a 2017 article in Buzzfeed.

Following the article, Spacey released a statement in which he came out as gay and apologised to Rapp for any inappropriate behaviour.

On Monday, Spacey said he now regrets his apology.

“I have learned a lesson, which is never apologise for something you didn’t do,” Spacey said. “I regret my entire statement,” he added.

Actor Anthony Rapp (centre) arrives at the Manhattan Federal Court for his civil sex abuse case trial against Kevin Spacey in New York on October 12. Photo: Reuters

Spacey broke down in tears, saying that he wanted to do something positive by coming out but was viewed as trying to change the subject from Rapp’s abuse claim

“I would never have done anything to hurt the gay community,” he said. “I’m deeply sorry.”

Spacey is expected to be cross-examined when the trial resumes on Tuesday.

Rapp, who starred in the Broadway musical Rent, sued Spacey in November 2020, seeking US$40 million in damages.

Kevin Spacey to appear in London court over sex offences charges

Last week, Spacey’s lawyer challenged Rapp’s memory of the 1986 incident during cross-examination, questioning him on why he described the encounter as having occurred in a bedroom when Spacey lived in a studio at the time.

Spacey won Oscars for performances in American Beauty and The Usual Suspects, but his career largely ended after more than 20 men accused him of sexual misconduct.

Netflix dropped him from its political drama series House of Cards and Christopher Plummer replaced him in the role of J. Paul Getty in All the Money in the World weeks before the movie’s scheduled release in 2017.

Spacey faces a criminal trial in London next year after pleading not guilty to five sex offence charges over alleged assaults between 2005 and 2013.