Kevin Spacey faces civil trial on sexual assault claims

On Thursday, “House of Cards” star Kevin Spacey went in court to defend himself against a lawsuit filed by actor Anthony Rapp, who leveled the first of several sexual misconduct allegations against Spacey in 2017. The charges devastated Spacey’s theatrical and film careers.

The trial, which is anticipated to last less than two weeks, began at a federal courthouse in New York City, and neither actor spoke to reporters upon arrival.

The case centers on an alleged encounter between Rapp, then a rising child actor, and Spacey, reportedly in his early twenties and enjoying a Broadway breakthrough.

Rapp said that the elder actor hosted him to a party at his Manhattan apartment when he was 14 years old, and then tried to seduce him in a bedroom after everyone else had left.

A inebriated, stumbling man, he said. Spacey picked him up and carried him off like a bridegroom, deposited him on the bed, and climbed in on top of him. Rapp claimed he escaped the situation as quickly as possible and kept quiet about it for the next three decades, during which time the careers of both performers flourished.

Rapp told Buzzfeed about the event in 2017 as the #MeToo movement was sweeping Hollywood. Spacey denied any knowledge of the incident, saying, “but if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the deepest apology for what would have been extremely inappropriate inebriated behavior.”