[Note: This article contains descriptions of sexual misconduct.]
Just as it resumes, the New York trial for a sexual misconduct lawsuit filed against Kevin Spacey has hit a bump in the road. Spacey’s lawyer, Jennifer Keller, tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday morning, per The Hollywood Reporter.
Despite the positive test, legal proceedings were back underway on Thursday in the Manhattan courtroom. U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan asserted that his main concern regarding the positive test was ensuring the jury’s safety and continued adherence to all courtroom protocols. Per Kaplan, all of the jury members are at least partially vaccinated.
Keller was last in the courtroom on Wednesday, when she questioned actor Anthony Rapp about his allegation that Spacey made unwanted sexual advances on him in 1986, when Rapp was 14 and Spacey was 26. Spacey has consistently denied Rapp’s claim.
Speaking to the “alarming” experience on the stand on Wednesday, Rapp recalls a “glassy-eyed” Spacey joining him in a bed where Rapp had been watching television. Per Rapp, Spacey then trapped him by laying on top of him—it was then that Spacey allegedly began pushing his groin into Rapp’s side.
“I knew something was wrong,” Rapp testified. “I had this feeling I had to get out of there. What I was also feeling was frozen.”
Although Rapp was eventually able to leave the situation (despite Spacey’s alleged coercive pleas), he testified that he did not come forward about the incident at the time, in part, because he was still not out as a gay man. In addition, Rapp feared the repercussions he may face as a young actor in a cutthroat industry.
If the trial continues on schedule as planned, Spacey is expected to testify on the stand next week. In addition to the ongoing New York litigation, Spacey also faces four counts of sexual assault in the U.K. A criminal trial for those charges is set to begin in 2023.
If you or someone you know is suffering from sexual abuse, contact the RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.