Anthony Rapp fights back tears during testimony in sex abuse trial against Kevin Spacey

‘Star Trek: Discovery’ star Anthony Rapp appeared to hold back tears as he testified in federal court on Friday about the “incredibly frightening and very alarming” moment he told Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey. would have climbed on him at a party in New York in 1986, when Rapp was 14 and Spacey 26.

Rapp, speaking with a pained expression and occasionally closing his eyes as he collected his thoughts, told jurors he “knew something was seriously wrong” when Spacey allegedly grabbed his buttock, lifted him up, would have put him on a bed and rested his body on top of him.

“I didn’t ask him to do that,” Rapp told jurors on day two of his trial against Spacey. “I didn’t want him to do that.”

Spacey has denied the allegation, and the ‘American Beauty’ star’s attorneys have argued that Rapp fabricated a story about their client to gain attention and boost his profile.

Spacey, dressed in a gray suit and red tie, listened intently to Rapp’s testimony, occasionally glancing at the young man’s lead attorney, Peter Saghir.

The judge presiding over the case adjourned for the week at around 3:30 p.m., meaning Rapp will continue to testify and then face cross-examination from Spacey’s lawyers when the trial resumes on Tuesday.

Rapp, dressed in a navy suit and gray tie, answered a long list of questions from Saghir about his upbringing in suburban Chicago, his childhood interest in the performing arts and his experiences in as a teenage actor learning the ropes in New York.

He described himself as a shy kid who hung out with a “crew crew of nerds” who played “Dungeons & Dragons” and created fake magazines. He was interested in creative pursuits from an early age, performing in plays and musicals like “Li’l Abner”.

Rapp said in his lawsuit he met Spacey in 1986, when the two performed in separate Broadway shows — Rapp alongside Ed Harris in ‘Precious Sons’, Spacey with Jack Lemmon in ‘Long Day’s Journey into Night”.

Rapp testified that he saw the production of “Long Day’s Journey into Night” with John Barrowman, a friend and fellow actor who was staying with Rapp and his mother, a registered nurse and single parent.

Rapp and Barrowman went backstage to meet Lemmon. Spacey walked in and invited Rapp and Barrowman to dinner nearby. The three then went to an adult nightclub called Limelight at Spacey’s suggestion.

Rapp claimed that Spacey later invited him to a party at his apartment. He decided to attend “for several reasons”, he told jurors, explaining that he was “honoured” to be able to “join a colleague at a rally” and wanted to show some independence vis-à-vis -to his mother.

Rapp testified that he arrived at the Upper East Side party alone. He said he didn’t recognize the other guests and felt uncomfortable, so he went to a bedroom to watch TV.

Spacey later appeared in the doorway, apparently inebriated and “unsteady on his feet,” Rapp said in his testimony. He said Spacey approached him, grabbed his buttocks, lifted him onto a bed and briefly lay on top of him before he managed to “squirm”.

“I had to get out of there,” Rapp said. He told jurors he made it to the front door, where Spacey allegedly asked, “Are you sure you want to leave?” Rapp said yes and returned to the Upper East Side apartment where he was staying with his mother.

Rapp told jurors his mind was racing after the alleged encounter and he wondered, “How can I get over this incredibly upsetting and frightening experience?”

Saghir asked Rapp if he had ever contacted the police or spoken to his mother about the alleged incident, and he said no. Rapp explained that he didn’t want to worry his mother, adding that he was concerned that she would try to stop him from attending theater community events in the future.

Saghir told jurors Thursday in his opening statement that Rapp decided to come forward with his allegations after reading an article about Oscar-winning actor Lupita Nyong’o’s sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein. (Weinstein denies all allegations.)

He first publicly shared his allegations in a BuzzFeed News article published in October 2017, at the beginning of the #MeToo movement.

The first witness of the day was Andy Holtzman, who said Spacey sexually assaulted him 41 years ago, in 1981.

Holtzman claims that when he was 27 and headed a film division at the Public Theater in Manhattan, Spacey walked into his office wearing “tight blue jeans”, approached him with a “large clear erection”, “sort of lifted me up by my crotch” and pushed him against a desk.

“I could feel his erection on my body,” said Holtzman, retired from a career in the entertainment industry.

Holtzman testified that he “screamed” loudly during the alleged encounter, saying things like “What are you doing?” Eventually, Spacey “gave in” and “stormed out of the office”, seemingly furious that his supposed lead had been spurned.

Holtzman said he decided to come forward with his allegations in 2017, sharing his allegations in a Facebook post.

Anthony Rapp, left, arrives in court for the civil lawsuit against Kevin Spacey on October 6, 2022 in New York City. Yuki Iwamura/Associated Press

Under cross-examination, Spacey’s attorneys sought to undermine Holtzman’s claims. They submitted as evidence a copy of the program for the Public Theater production of “Henry IV, Part 1”, in which Spacey – then in his early twenties – had a small role.

Holtzman claims to have recognized Spacey possibly after seeing his picture in the play’s program. But a lawyer for Spacey pointed out that the program did not feature Spacey’s photo.

Holtzman testified that he was unsure whether all of the program pages were included in the play.

The other two witnesses from the day were friends of Rapp, who claimed he told them about his alleged meeting with Spacey. Christopher Denny, who met Rapp in the early 1990s, recounted his memories of Rapp’s version of events.

Denny recalled Rapp explaining that Spacey “frightened him, made him feel uncomfortable” during the alleged 1986 encounter.

In opening arguments Thursday, one of Spacey’s attorneys claimed the apartment the actor rented in 1986 had no bedrooms, showing jurors a copy of the floor plan.

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