Will Kevin Spacey avoid a $40 million sexual assault suit?
Manhattan Federal Judge Lewis A. Kaplan has ruled that the John Doe suing defamed actor Kevin Spacey for sexual assault must reveal his identity, according to CNN. The judge made this ruling with the explanation that his identity is within the legitimate interest of the public. “That interest is magnified because C.D. has made his allegations against a public figure.”
Prior to this, the unidentified man was referred to as “C.D.” in court documents. In the documents, C.D. claims that he met Kevin Spacey when he was 14 in 1981. He says he was an acting student under Spacey’s guidance in Westchester County, New York. He also says that he began a sexual relationship with the actor.
In defense of wanting to keep his identity hidden, C.D. argues that it’s within the public’s interest that he stays anonymous. Otherwise, he could be in danger and be deterred from seeking justice. Specifically, his attorney explained that C.D. is worried about being forced to go public in fear that he will be “emotionally unable to proceed with the action and will discontinue his claims.”
“C.D. argues that there is a competing public interest in keeping the identity of those who make sexual assault allegations anonymous so that they are not deterred from vindicating their rights,” Kaplan wrote.
Kaplan then added, “Though C.D. is correct that the public generally has an interest in protecting those who make sexual assault allegations so that they are not deterred from vindicating their rights, it does not follow that the public has an interest in maintaining the anonymity of every person who alleges sexual assault or other misconduct of a highly personal nature.”
It is of note that Spacey and his legal team are already aware of C.D.’s identity, as Deadline reports. This matter is based on the identity becoming public knowledge. C.D. now has 10 days to refile the suit under his real name. Otherwise, he risks the suit, with which $40M in damages is at stake, dissipating.
This court case is the same lawsuit that Star Trek: Discovery actor Anthony Rapp joined in September of last year. Rapp also claims to have had a run-in with Kevin Spacey when he was 14. Rapp says that he was at a party at Spacey’s Manhattan home in 1986. The two had performed together in a state production. Rapp says that Spacey made aggressive passes at him at the party including grabbing his butt, lifting Rapp onto the bed, and laying over his body. Rapp says he was so scared that he ran into a bathroom and later left the party.
Both Anthony Rapp’s and C.D.’s representatives have yet to comment on the Judge Kaplan’s ruling.