Kevin Spacey's lawyer has claimed he was a victim of the MeToo movement.
The former 'House of Cards' star appeared in court in Manhattan on Thursday in relation to allegations from Anthony Rapp, who has accused the disgraced actor of assaulting him at a party in 1986 when he was just 14 years old and Spacey was more than a decade older.
But the 63-year-old actor's lawyer has claimed his accuser made the allegations "for attention, for sympathy and to raise his own profile" because he was jealous of the success the 'American Beauty' star enjoyed while his own acting career floundered.
Jennifer Keller said in opening arguments: “One of the cardinal rules of the so-called MeToo movement (is) that you have to believe the victim. You'll see that Mr Spacey said ‘This didn't happen, I don't remember it’.
"They told him to apologize. It was cleverly set up by Mr Rapp...
“He's been telling this story to raise his own profile. He never became the international star Kevin Spacey did. He has been simmering with resentment. It's not easy to defend this, after 30 years.
"As Mr Spacey's star rose, Mr Rapp grew resentful. 'Rent' (the musical) was the apex of his career. He peaked in 2000 and grew bitter. So he became an out gay actor. I don't know if he would have been a leading man anyway.
“‘(The allegations made in 2017) was right after the Harvey Weinstein allegations. All sorts of people are worried about being cancelled.”
Rapp filed a civil suit against Spacey after a 2020 criminal charge of sexual assault was dismissed by a judge and is seeking compensation for mental and emotional suffering, medical expenses and loss of work.
According to court documents, Rapp claimed that during a party in Manhattan, Spacey lifted him up and his hand "grazed" his buttocks as he did so. He then alleged the actor placed him back down on a bed and "briefly placed his own clothed body partially beside and partially across" his.
He said the alleged incident lasted no more than two minutes and there had been "no kissing, no undressing, no reaching under clothes, and no sexualized statements or innuendo."
Spacey has previously offered his "sincerest apology" to the 'Star Trek: Discovery' actor for any "deeply inappropriate drunken behaviour," but said he did not recall the incident.
The 'Baby Driver' star faces having to pay significant damages if the jury find in favour of his accuser.
The case is being overseen by Judge Lewis Kaplan, who presided over the civil suit filed against Prince Andrew earlier this year, which was ultimately settled out of court.
Spacey has previously pleaded not guilty to charges of sexually assaulting three men between March 2005 and April 2013 in the UK, while in 2019, charges of indecent assault and sexual assault were dropped in Massachusetts.
- Irene Cara dead at 63Entertainment 20,758 views
- Stallone reality TV worriesEntertainment 14,040 views
- Kendall goes cowgirlEntertainment 3,529 views
- Jessie J 'still hurting'Entertainment 2,392 views
- Sex scenes 'mechanical'Entertainment 3,297 views
- Gooding says he's changedEntertainment 1,951 views
- No Potter parody for AlEntertainment 1,427 views
- 'Grateful to be safe'Entertainment 1,709 views