Kevin Spacey Breaks Down in Court, Says Publicist Convinced Him to Apologize to Anthony Rapp: ‘It Was Really Wrong’

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Kevin Spacey became visibly distraught in a New York City courtroom on Monday afternoon, breaking down as he blamed his publicist for convincing him to publicly apologize to Anthony Rapp in 2017 after the “Star Trek: Discovery” actor accused him of sexual misconduct.

“I was being encouraged to apologize and I’ve learned a lesson, which is never apologize for something that you didn’t do,” Spacey said. “I regret my entire statement.”

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Spacey then choked up and began to cry, as he said, “It’s my responsibility. I put it out there. It was really wrong. It was really bad and I’m deeply sorry. I have to own that.”

Rapp made his allegations in a BuzzFeed article as Hollywood was engulfed in one sexual harassment or abuse scandal after another, with moguls, media players and stars like Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Rose, Louis C.K., Matt Lauer and others accused of misdeeds. In Spacey’s case, he was accused of making sexual advances to a then-14-year-old Rapp in 1986, when Spacey was 26. Spacey has forcefully denied these allegations in court. At the time of the BuzzFeed article, his response was more contrite, with Spacey coming out as gay and saying he had no memory of the alleged incident. He also offered Rapp “the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior.”

Spacey said that he “literally didn’t know how to respond” to Rapp’s allegations and told the court that his publicist advised him against pushing back, counseling him that “they’re going to call you a victim-blamer.” His statement was an attempt to “avoid a crisis that was going to get worse.” Spacey, an Oscar-winning actor who starred in “American Beauty” and “L.A. Confidential,” was fired from his lead role in Netflix’s “House of Cards” and was digitally removed and replaced by Christopher Plummer in “All the Money in the World.”

Rapp, who is suing Spacey for $40 million in damages, testified last week that the actor invited him to a party in his apartment. After the guests left, Spacey allegedly picked Rapp up and pushed him on his bed, getting on top of him in a sexually aggressive way. Rapp claims he fled to Spacey’s bathroom before leaving the apartment. In court, Rapp said the incident with Spacey remains “the most traumatic single event of my life.”

Spacey admitted knowing Rapp, though he denied the incident. He said he had gone out to a club at the time with Rapp, who had just appeared in “Precious Sons” on Broadway with Ed Harris, as well as another actor, John Barrowman. It was during a period when Spacey was appearing on stage in “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” opposite Jack Lemmon. Spacey said he had been flirtatious with Barrowman, taking him back to his apartment after going out to Limelight, a popular nightspot of the era, along with Rapp. But he didn’t act on the attraction because of Rapp’s presence.

“I was very impressed with Mr. Barrowman,” Spacey said. “He was very handsome and very charming. Anthony Rapp seemed like a kid. John Barrowman seemed like a man.”

On Monday, Judge Lewis A. Kaplan dismissed Rapp’s emotional distress claim against Spacey, arguing it was redundant. Spacey still faces a battery claim.

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