Rapp, who was 14 at the time of the alleged encounter with a 26-year-old Spacey, first alleged in 2017 that Spacey groped his buttocks and forced himself on him during a party in 1986. In 2020, Rapp filed his lawsuit under New York’s Child Victims Act, which allows victims of childhood abuse to bring lawsuits over alleged crimes even after they’ve fallen outside the statute of limitations.
On Friday, Rapp recounted the incident for the jury, testifying that he first met Spacey when both actors were working on Broadway in the mid-Eighties; Rapp on Precious Sons, Spacey on A Long Day’s Journey Into Night.
The 14-year-old Rapp was invited to attend Spacey’s apartment for a party, which he attended; as the other partygoers were all older than Rapp, the teenager eventually went to a side room to watch TV alone. As the party thinned out, Rapp testified, Spacey entered the side room.
“I knew something was wrong,” Rapp testified. “I had this feeling I had to get out of there. What I was also feeling was frozen.”
Spacey then pinned him to the bed, Rapp testified. “His groin was pressing into the side of my hip,” he said (via the New York Post). “I was pinned underneath him. I felt like a deer in headlights. I didn’t ask for him to do that. I didn’t want him to do that.”
Rapp testified that he was able to “wriggle out” from under Spacey and eventually leave the apartment, but the incident stayed with him: Because Rapp had not yet come out as gay, he wasn’t able to speak to his family about the encounter, and he feared telling anyone about it would impact his then-fledgling professional career.
Rapp initially sued Spacey for assault, battery, and causing emotional distress, and while a judge dismissed the assault claim during the lengthy pre-trial proceedings, Spacey’s attempts to have the lawsuit itself terminated were denied in March 2022.
During their opening statement Thursday, Rapp’s lawyers also cited Spacey’s initial statement in response to Rapp’s accusations — where Spacey said he didn’t remember the encounter but “if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior” — as evidence that it occurred.
Spacey’s legal team countered that Rapp’s lawsuit was an attempt to gain “attention, sympathy and to raise his own profile.”
On Friday, Rapp’s lawyers also called to the stand another alleged Spacey victim Andrew Holtzman, who worked at a Greenwich Village theater in 1981. Holtzman testified that one day in the theater office, Spacey walked in and without saying anything touched Holtzman’s groin.
“He sort’ve lifted me up by my crotch,” Holtzman said, adding that Spacey then pinned him against the desk before Holtzman yelled at him to “get off of me,” which Spacey angrily did.
Spacey, who attended Friday’s proceedings, is expected to testify in his defense as the civil trial continues next week. Outside of the civil suit, Spacey is still set to face trial on five sexual assault charges in London in June 2023. Spacey has pleaded not guilty to those charges.