Anthony Rapp talks about Kevin Spacey in first comments since trial

Anthony Rapp has spoken about his civic lawsuit against Kevin Spacey in his first public comments since the trial was wrapped up in October this year.

Rapp, who is known for his performances in Star Trek: Discovery and in the original Broadway production of Rent, had sought $40m (£36m) in damages after alleging that a then-26-year-old Spacey made an “unwanted sexual advance” towards him when he was 14, during a party at Spacey’s Manhattan apartment in 1986.

Spacey “categorically” denied the accusation.

In October, the three-week trial came to an end after a New York jury concluded that Spacey did not molest Rapp.

During an event hosted by The Meteor over the weekend, Rapp opened up about the trial and his original decision to come forward with his allegations against the House of Cards actor.

“A courtroom is not a safe space for trauma, that is for sure,” he told moderator Salamishah Tillet about the limitations of confronting trauma through legal venues. “So I also deeply understand why some people don’t pursue that angle.

“What is proof? How do you prove things? Part of the movement is so much about honouring a story, listening, being a mirror, being holding, healing. You speak about these things. Those things aren’t necessarily anything that a courtroom is at all interested in. It is not the only avenue. It is an avenue. I did want to avail myself of the opportunity to see what might be possible.”

Speaking of his decision to come forward with allegations against Spacey in the first weeks of the #MeToo movement, Rapp said: “I had heard other people had shared with me other incidents that they had experienced with Kevin Spacey over the years.

Anthony Rapp and Kevin Spacey (Getty)
Anthony Rapp and Kevin Spacey (Getty)

“I pushed my experience a little bit off to the side because many of the stories I heard were worse. So I didn’t think my experience necessarily rose to the level of those,” he said. “I’ve talked to other especially young actors coming up – especially in Hollywood, more so than New York probably.

“It was rampant. The lights are on enough that it’s hopefully not happening as often to some of these very vulnerable young men,” he added.

In October, after the verdict was announced, Rapp shared a statement on social media. Despite the court not ruling in his favour, Rapp explained that he found some satisfaction in being part of a movement against sexual violence.

“I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to have my case heard before a jury, and I thank the members of the jury for their service,” his statement began.

“Bringing this lawsuit was always about shining a light, as part of the larger movement to stand up against all forms of sexual violence.”

Towards the end of his statement, Rapp expressed hope that acknowledgment of sexual violence would continue and that those who have experienced it will speak up about it.