Kevin Spacey claims that his publicists encouraged him not to dispute Anthony Rapp’s allegations of an inappropriate sexual advance when the Star Trek: Discovery actor was 14.
Spacey took the stand on Monday to testify in his defense in a civil suit brought by Rapp.
“I was being encouraged to apologize, and I’ve learned a lesson,” Spacey said, “which is, never apologize for something you didn’t do.”
In 2017, Rapp publicly accused Spacey of drunkenly fondling his buttocks, lifting him onto a bed, and pinning him down, laying on top of him after a party in 1986 when Rapp was 14 and Spacey was 26. Rapp sued Spacey in 2020 for assault, battery, and intentionally inflicting emotional distress.
Spacey did not initially deny Rapp’s allegations, stating instead that he did not remember the encounter. In a 2017 tweet, Spacey wrote, “If I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior, and I am sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him all these years.”
According to The New York Times, in Monday’s testimony Spacey claimed that he’d been advised to release the 2017 statement in an attempt to diffuse a social media scandal in the early days of the #MeToo movement. Spacey denied ever having been alone with Rapp.
“They told me I couldn’t push back on the story,” Spacey said as he wiped away tears, according to the AP. “I knew I wouldn’t have any sexual interest in Anthony Rapp or any child. That I knew.”
Spacey said, however, that he did recall a different encounter, in which he, Rapp, and actor John Barrowman had gone to Spacey’s apartment after going to a nightclub. Spacey said that he had been attracted to Barrowman, and pushed him onto his bed while Rapp was in the bathroom. Spacey testified that he and Barrowman sat up when Rapp reentered the room.
“I had no interest in Mr. Rapp joining us,” he said.
Rapp denied Spacey’s version of events, claiming that he and Barrowman had not visited Spacey’s apartment that night. However, in video testimony, Barrowman recalled Spacey’s version of the evening.
Spacey also testified on Monday that he had remained closeted until 2017 because his father was a “white supremacist and a neo-Nazi” who frequently used anti-gay slurs.
Numerous other accusers came forward following Rapp’s allegations. In May, Spacey was charged by the U.K.’s Crown Prosecution Service with four counts of sexual assault and one count of “causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent.” The alleged incidents took place in London and Gloucestershire between 2005 and 2013. The trial is set to begin in June.