Entertainment

House of Cards actor Kevin Spacey sued over sexual assault claims

House of Cards actor Kevin Spacey sued over sexual assault claims

Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey is being sued by two people who claim he sexually assaulted them when they were teenagers.

Actor Anthony Rapp, 48, and another unnamed person are taking the 61-year-old to court accusing him of sexual assault and battery in the 1980s.

The suit, filed in New York state court in Manhattan on Wednesday, refers to the same alleged incident Rapp first recounted in an October 2017 BuzzFeed interview that triggered Spacey’s fall from grace in Hollywood.

Spacey did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The actor, who won Oscars for the films American Beauty and The Usual Suspects and a Golden Globe for the TV political drama House of Cards, has largely retreated from public life in the past three years.

In 2017, Spacey said he did not remember the encounter Rapp described, but did say, “If I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behaviour”.

Spacey, now 61, came out as gay in 2017.

Rapp, who is best known for starring in the Broadway musical Rent, alleged in the lawsuit Spacey “engaged in an unwanted sexual advance” with him when he was 14, during a party at Spacey’s home in 1986.

The second person, identified only as CD, alleged he and Spacey had oral and anal sex and engaged in other sexual acts on several occasions in the early 1980s when the plaintiff was approximately 14 years old.

Both men are seeking unspecified damages for emotional distress.

Rapp’s initial accusation, part of the #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct, led to Spacey being dropped from House of Cards and his scenes in the movie All the Money in the World were re-shot with actor Christopher Plummer.

Rapp and the second man filed their lawsuit under New York’s 2019 Child Victims Act, their lawyer Peter J. Saghir said.

The act gave people one year, later extended to two, to sue over sexual abuse allegations regardless of when they occurred.

“This lawsuit sends a strong message that no matter how wealthy, powerful or famous you may be you are not above the law,” Saghir said in a statement.

Prosecutors in Massachusetts in 2019 dropped criminal charges against Spacey of felony indecent assault and battery involving an 18 year-old man in a bar in 2016.

Spacey had pleaded not guilty and the case was dropped after the alleged victim declined to testify.