On Friday (8 April), the actor said through his lawyers that the claims in Rapp’s suit – in which he alleges Spacey abused him at a party in 1986 when he was a teenager – are untrue.
Papers filed in Manhattan federal court see Spacey’s lawyers stating that the event Rapp described never occurred.
Actor Rapp, 50, first publicly spoke about his claim in 2017.
He said that in 1986, he went to a party at Spacey’s Manhattan home, where then 26-year-old Spacey “engaged in a sexual advance” without Rapp’s consent and climbed on top of him in a bed. Rapp was only 14 then.
Rapp alleged that he had to “extricate” himself from under Spacey and then left the party.
However, Spacey’s lawyers have argued that the encounter between Rapp and their client cannot qualify as sexual abuse under New York’s laws and claimed that there was “no evidence” that would suggest any contact between Spacey’s hand and Rapp’s body was for the purpose of sexual gratification, the lawyers wrote.
The lawyers also said that because of the lack of evidence, Rapp’s claims for assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress must fail.
They said that Spacey “flatly denies” whatever Rapp has described happened between the two that night in Manhattan.
When Rapp went public with his allegations, Spacey had responded by saying he was “beyond horrified” to hear of the allegations and that he “honestly [did] not remember the encounter”, but added: “If I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate behaviour.”
Meanwhile, Spacey has said now that he categorically denies Rapp’s claims that “I sexually assaulted him or otherwise made a ‘sexual advance’ on him”.
“I met Mr Rapp several decades ago. I never had a sexual encounter with Mr Rapp. Nor did I harbour any sexual interest or desire in Mr Rapp at that time or any time. Nor did I have physical contact with Mr Rapp or any other interaction with him that was for the purpose of sexual gratification of either me or him,” he said.
The House of Cards actor added: “Nor did I have any physical contact with Mr Rapp or any other interaction with him that was for the purpose of degrading or abusing him. Any suggestion otherwise by Mr Rapp or anyone else is absolutely false.”
Spacey was suspended from House of Cards in November 2017 following multiple accusations of sexual assault.