NEW YORK (Reuters) – It has been just under five years since Kevin Spacey’s Oscar-winning career was upended by a slew of sexual misconduct accusations, starting when Anthony Rapp accused him of making an unwanted sexual advance in 1986.
Both actors are now headed to Manhattan federal court, where jury selection is scheduled to begin on Thursday in Rapp’s $40 million civil lawsuit over the incident, which allegedly occurred when he was 14.
Spacey, 63, has denied Rapp’s accusations and other sexual misconduct charges.
“We look forward to a trial by jury with actual evidence rather than trial by social media,” his lawyer Jennifer Keller said on Wednesday.
Rapp, who starred in the Broadway musical “Rent,” alleged in a November 2020 lawsuit that Spacey forcibly touched him during a party at Spacey’s New York home. He said he left after the brief encounter.
Now 50, Rapp is seeking compensatory and punitive damages for battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Spacey won Oscars for best actor in “American Beauty” and best supporting actor in “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 “House of Cards”, and Christopher Plummer replaced him in the role of J. Paul Getty in “All the Money in the World” just a few weeks before the movie’s scheduled release.
Spacey faces a criminal trial in London next year after pleading not guilty to five sex offense charges over alleged assaults between 2005 and 2013.
He was charged with indecent assault in Massachusetts in 2018 over allegations he sexually abused an 18-year-old man at a Nantucket bar in 2016, but prosecutors later dropped the charges after the alleged victim refused to testify.
(Reporting by Luc Cohen in New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)