A judge handling the sexual battery lawsuit against Kevin Spacey ruled that the disgraced actor won’t have to answer questions about his past sexual partners or anonymous accusers.
Variety reports that while the lawsuit from actor Anthony Rapp can proceed with a deposition of Spacey, he’ll be limited in what he has to disclose, namely the facts of the case itself.
Rapp accused Spacey of groping his buttocks, leading him to a bed, and laying on top of him when Rapp was 14-years-old. Rapp said he ran to the bathroom and eventually escaped the apartment.
Rapp’s lawyers wanted to ask Spacey about a spate of other allegations that would help lend credence to their case. However, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan said that line of questioning would jeopardize Spacey’s privacy, as well as the privacy of his sexual partners.
Because of the ruling, the line of questioning will be somewhat limited. For example, lawyers can ask about any public accusers, but prosecutors cannot mention anonymous accusers.
“Any such Subject, and the defendant, have substantial privacy interests in their most intimate personal relationships that outweigh any legitimate interest of the plaintiff in pursuing those matters,” the judge wrote in the ruling.
Lawyers for Spacey said asking about sexual relationships with consenting adults was improper. Rapp’s lawyers said they “should not be forced to take Spacey at his word that his sexual and romantic relationships are indeed consensual.”
This means that Rapp’s lawyers can’t ask about an ongoing London police investigation or about a person named C.D. who was initially suing Spacey with Rapp but left the case when the judge said C.D. had to identify himself publicly.
In the complaint, C.D. said he met Spacey when he was 14-years-old. Spacey invited him to his apartment, the complaint said, and C.D. performed oral and anal sex on Spacey. The last time they saw each other, Spacey allegedly attempted to perform anal sex on the boy, but C.D. said no several times and made a run for it.
The judge said people were welcome to come forward with public allegations, but he didn’t want to force people who wanted to stay anonymous to participate in the lawsuit.
Spacey has faced a number of accusations since his fall from grace as one of the most in-demand actors in Hollywood in 2017. Last month, the court ordered Spacey to pay $31 million for a breach of contractual obligations related to his role on House of Cards.
The decision said Spacey failed to perform his services “In a professional manner … consistent with (producer MRC’s reasonable directions, practices, and policies.”
If you know someone suffering from sexual violence, contact RAINN or the National Sexual Abuse Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.