The $40 million compensation was also denied. A sigh of relief before appearing before the judges again, in London.
Five years after #MeToo, Kevin Spacey was acquitted of the charge of harassment against Anthony Rapp. This was decided by the jury of the federal court in New York, which ruled in favour of the actor after a three-week trial. In addition to the charge, the plaintiff's claim for $40 million in damages was also dropped.
Kevin Spacey, Rapp's indictment and dismissal from House of Cards
It was 2017 when, within weeks of the start of the movement that shook Hollywood and beyond, actor Anthony Rapp told the world that he had been sexually harassed by Kevin Spacey. According to the prosecution, the facts go back almost thirty years, to 1986. Rapp was 14 years old, Spacey 26, and both were beginning to tread the boards on Broadway.
At the end of the trial, the jury found him innocent because Rapp did not provide adequate evidence. According to the defence, Rapp had invented the encounter in search of notoriety. Among the reasons given were the bedroom indicated as the place of the crime, which was different from the one Spacey lived in at the time, and the manner. Rapp's reconstruction would, in fact, bear too much resemblance to the plot of a play he was performing at the time.
Furthermore, the lawyers emphasised the gap between the two careers. On the one hand, an Oscar-winning actor; on the other hand, an actor who has gained more popularity through the trial than in all these years. A strong point of view, which nevertheless managed to win Kevin Spacey a favourable opinion.
The public apology
Even before the trial, the actor – Oscar winner for The Usual Suspects and American beauty – apologised publicly, emphasising that he remembered nothing of the incident. Moreover, he took the opportunity to come out. However, offering the world her regrets and her private life was not enough. His career would disintegrate shortly thereafter.
In those years, he was starring in House of Cards, one of the strongest and most popular Netflix series. His Frank Underwood had entered the collective imagination and audiences were eagerly awaiting the release of the new season. Instead, everything takes a different turn. Netflix first suspends filming and then fires him, also blocking the release of Gore, the film that stars him.
It is a domino effect, because a few months later Ridley Scott and Sony, working on All the Money in the World, decide to replace him with Christopher Plummer, despite filming having already begun. Finally, he is ordered to pay a $30 million compensation to MRC, the production company of House of Cards.
The other charges against the actor
When the verdict was read out, Kevin Spacey lowered his gaze and then hugged his lawyers. A moment in which the accumulated tension goes away and one can smile again. Not for long, though, because Rapp was only the first in a long series. Over the years, his charges were joined by those of eight members of the House of Cards crew and those of Richard Dreyfuss' son and the son of journalist Heather Unruh. The latter, will be filed in 2019.
In that marasmus, she decides to dedicate herself to the treatment of sex addiction, but does not do it in time because further accusations rain down. This time, a masseur from Malibu and the Danish writer Ari Behn, former son-in-law of King Harald V of Norway, are to accuse her. And the trouble is not over yet, because in 2022 another sexual harassment trial opens. In this case, the events are alleged to have taken place between 2005 and 2013 in London and Gloucestershire, against three men in their pre-teen years.
Written by Michael Zippo
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