Kevin Spacey Sexual Assault Defense: My Dad Was a Neo-Nazi

Photo by CARLOS JASSO/AFP via Getty Images
Photo by CARLOS JASSO/AFP via Getty Images

Kevin Spacey testified in his own defense on Monday, often crying on the stand as he vehemently disputed allegations he sexually assaulted actor Anthony Rapp four decades ago—while offering up a series of shocking claims about his past.

For starters, the House of Cards actor promptly told the jury that his father was a neo-Nazi.

“My father was a white supremacist and neo-Nazi,” Spacey said in Manhattan federal court, adding that he would listen to “hours and hours” of his beliefs.

“I have never talked about these things publicly. Ever,” he continued.

The claim came as Spacey was defending himself against Rapp’s $40 million civil lawsuit in New York—just one of a slew of claims of sexual violence against Spacey dating back decades.

Within hours, Spacey had tearfully apologized for coming out as gay in a statement addressing the sexual assault allegation against him when it first went public five years ago. In the statement, he had indicated he did not remember the alleged encounter with Rapp and offered an apology “for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior.”

On the stand, Spacey claimed the statement was motivated in part by a desire to push back on conspiracy theories that he had been on Jeffrey Epstein’s “pedo island”—and that he had been involved in the bogus right-wing obsession known as Pizzagate. The actor claimed that while he met Epstein on a 2016 humanitarian trip to South Africa, he was not involved in the notorious pedophile’s nefarious activity.

“I was accused by the gay community of trying to change the subject,” he said, after suggesting he was essentially pressured into apologizing rather than defending himself by his PR team.

Rapp alleges that Spacey sexually assaulted him after a Manhattan party in 1986 when he was just 14 years old. Jurors will be tasked with deciding whether Spacey is liable for Rapp’s claim of battery after a judge on Monday dismissed another claim: of intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The dismissal of that claim marked a major blow to the highly publicized civil case against Spacey. It also signaled another legal win for the former House of Cards actor, who has been accused of sexual assault or misconduct by at least a dozen people.

Judge Lewis Kaplan concluded that the intentional infliction of emotional distress claim essentially repeated Rapp’s allegation of battery against the 63-year-old actor. But he said he would not dismiss the case entirely.

“I’m not saying one way or the other. I’m just saying I’m not going to grant that now,” Kaplan said.

Spacey’s team began their defense case with a video deposition from another actor, John Barrowman. After the short deposition, Spacey took the stand—telling jurors that his father would ask him about his sexual orientation because of his interest in theater.

“My father used to yell at me about the idea I might be gay,” Spacey said. “He would scream at me: ‘don’t be a’... he would use an f word that was very derogatory to the gay community.”

After Rapp’s claims were first published in Buzzfeed in 2017, Spacey tweeted a statement where he came out as gay.

Spacey on Monday grew emotional as he discussed the statement, claiming that he felt pressured to put out a response. He said that at the time, the entertainment industry “was reeling” after sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein and that everyone “was nervous about who was going to be next.”

“I was shocked, I was frightened, and I was confused,” he said. “I was literally confused. I didn’t know how to respond to this. I had no memory of ever being alone with him.”

The actor added that his team felt it was necessary to apologize for the allegations so he could not be accused of “victim blaming.”

“Take it seriously, not factually,” he said about their game plan. He also suggested his decision to come out as gay was not prompted by Rapp’s allegations but was something he had been talking about for about the last year and a half.

When he was on the stand himself, Rapp said that Spacey invited him to a party at his Upper East Side apartment after the two previously had a night out with Barrowman. Spacey admitted to going to a club with Rapp and Barrowman in May 1986, but said that he was only interested in the latter, whom he believed to be “a man.” When asked by his lawyers whether he wanted Rapp to join him and Barrowman that night, he said he had “no interest” in the then 14-year-old’s presence.

But Rapp said he went to Spacey’s apartment party alone after the night out with Barrowman, and that he felt uncomfortable around so many adults. Then, he said, he went into Spacey’s bedroom to watch television.

‘Hard to Breathe’: Spacey Accuser Says Facing Him Is Brutal

Suddenly, Rapp said, an apparently drunken Spacey was “standing in the doorway,” and then lifted him up “like a groom carrying a bride over the threshold.” Rapp said Spacey then climbed on top of him and pressed his pelvis on the teenager’s hip.

“It felt very wrong,” Rapp said on the stand. “I didn’t want him to do it, and I had no reason that made any sense of why he would do it. I felt like a deer in headlights.”

Spacey’s lawyers have claimed Rapp’s allegations amount to a story he fabricated in a fit of jealousy at The Usual Suspects actor’s career. On the stand, Rapp denied being jealous—and disputed that he viewed Spacey as a “fraud” for not coming out sooner, stating he was perfectly happy with his own career.

But Spacey leaned into the claim during his own testimony.

“To call someone a fraud is to, I guess, say they are living a lie,” Spacey said on Monday. “I wasn’t living a lie, I was just reluctant to talk about my personal life.”

Before Rapp took the stand, a former New York public film coordinator told jurors that Spacey lifted him “by the crotch” during the workday in 1981. “He was wearing tight blue jeans and through the jeans, I very clearly saw a very large erection,” Andrew Holzman, 68, testified. “He sort of lifted me up by my crotch and sort of pushed me back on my desk.”

Spacey on Monday denied the alleged incident at the Astor Library occurred.

Despite the avalanche of claims against him dating back decades, Spacey has dodged criminal charges in the United States as two potential prosecutions crumbled and one accuser died.

Previously in Rapp’s civil case, Kaplan booted a second plaintiff after he declined to reveal his identity. Spacey only faces one criminal case, in the United Kingdom.

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