https://deadline.com/2022/10/kevin-spacey-trial-anthony-rapp-sexual-misconduct-lawsuit-1235142295/

As she had done for most of Tuesday, Kevin Spacey’s lawyer Jennifer Keller today again sought to dragoon Anthony Rapp on the stand in the Star Trek: Discovery actor’s $40 million sexual misconduct case against the former House of Cards main man.

Her cross-examination of Rapp lasted about an hour today — bringing its total length to nearly five hours — but the real fireworks came near the end of Rapp attorney Peter Saghir’s redirect of his client – when he asked whether Rapp told BuzzFeed about Spacey in order to raise his public profile.

“I came forward because I knew I was not the only one Kevin Spacey had made advances to,” Rapp testified. 

That created an uproar in the courtroom as Spacey’s lawyers objected. Judge Lewis A. Kaplan sustained the objection, ordered that sentence be stricken from the record and told the jury to disregard it. An ensuing bench conference lasted a few minutes before Kaplan said, “Ruling stands.”

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Saghir then had one final question for his client: whether Rapp had made up any of his story about Spacey. “I have not,” he testified. “It is something that happened to me that was not OK.”

Rapp now has finished his testimony in the case.

During her cross of Rapp earlier, Keller continued to hammer away at his story, why he gave it to BuzzFeed — and why he never mentioned Spacey to his therapist, asking incredulously, “You did not tell him about what you consider to be one of the most traumatic events of your life?”

Later, during his redirect by Saghir, Rapp testified, “It didn’t come up in my thinking in any aspect of what I was talking about.”

Keller also quizzed Rapp about his motivation for going public with the Spacey allegations.

“You were on the new Star Trek streaming show, but it wasn’t clear it would be renewed in 2017 for a second season,” she said. “You wanted to promote the show, raise your visibility” and going public with the BuzzFeed story was part of that, she said. She then asked why Rapp didn’t not to The New York Times, which had led the way on #MeToo reporting. “Isn’t Buzzfeed known for lists and quizzes about celebrities?” she asked. 

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Rapp defended BuzzFeed as a serious news operation and Adam Vary, who broke the story, as a reporter whose work he knew and trusted for being sensitive and fair.

At that point, Keller began to hit at Vary’s credibility. She showed the court texts between Rapp and Vary, one of which says BuzzFeed couldn’t verify that Spacey had been at the 2008 Tony Awards, where Rapp initially claimed to have had a surprise, momentary, wordless run-in with Spacey in the bathroom. Per the texts, Rapp later realized that it was 1999, but Keller focused on a part earlier where Vary said that if they can’t pin down the year, the article will “steer away from exactly specificity” on the date rather than “nail down a specific date that Spacey could then flatly deny.”

Vary has been subpoenaed in the case, but it’s not clear whether he will testify.

After bruising morning and early-afternoon sessions with Keller tearing into Rapp’s recollection of meeting Spacey over 30 years ago, the events in Spacey’s Upper East Side apartment and Rapp’s response, both short-term and long-term, the Keller Anderle attorney tried to pin much of what may or may not have occurred on the George Furth-penned play Precious Sons in which Rapp was appearing in 1986.

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In that vein, Keller strongly suggested that Rapp’s memory of events alternately was mistaken, selective or conveniently hazy, and sometimes influenced by his theater work, which she suggested he used to construct the molestation narrative. “The rhythms of the play had kind of seeped into your subconscious,” the lawyer said, a point Rapp didn’t directly argue — he had written as much in his memoir, that he would find himself reciting pieces of dialogue in real life situations. 

In the Chicago-set Precious Sons, Ed Harris, playing Rapp’s father, comes home drunk and, mistaking the son for his wife, climbs onto him in a darkened living room while the boy is sleeping on the couch and pleads for sex. “He was climbing on top of you, twice a night, for weeks on end,” during the play’s run, Keller said, as Spacey, the judge and others looked on in the courtroom. She then went on to ask if Rapp had become “accustomed” to doing the scene. “To some degree,” yes, he replied.

Having seen off a number of previous lawsuits through settlements or dismissal, Spacey still owes $31 million to House of Cards producers MRC because his alleged misconduct on the Netflix political drama constituted a material breach of his acting and executive producing contracts. Regardless of the outcome of the Rapp trial, Swimming with Sharks star Spacey also has a UK sexual assault trial scheduled to start next summer on the other side of the Atlantic.

The trial is expected to wrap up by early next week.

Sean Piccoli and Erik Pedersen contributed to this report.

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