Anthony Rapp has denied telling the author of an article in which he accused Kevin Spacey of an “unwanted sexual advance” to “get away from specificity”.
The actor said the alleged incident was the “most traumatic event” of his life – as he sought to clarify aspects of a fierce cross-examination he faced from the Mr. Spacey’s legal team on Tuesday.
Mr Rapp claims the advance happened at a party in 1986 when he was 14, a charge the Hollywood actor has ‘categorically’ denied.
The allegations were first published in a Buzzfeed article by journalist Adam Vary in October 2017.
The court saw excerpts of a text exchange between Mr. Vary and Mr. Rapp before publication.
In it, the writer said he couldn’t verify some aspects of the story and suggested writing parts more loosely.
Mr Vary suggested that the history of the 1986 party “also moves away from specificity”.
“Is this your idea of a journalist with integrity, who would massage a story that way?” Mrs. Keller asked Mr. Rapp.
“To some extent,” Mr. Rapp replied.
Mr Keller asked: ‘You never told Mr Vary that was dishonest journalism?’
Mr. Rapp replied, “No.”
Mr Rapp later said he did not tell Mr Vary to stray from specific dates or be vague with details, saying he had ‘no involvement’ in the drafting of the item.
On Tuesday, the court heard that Spacey flirted with 19-year-old John Barrowman in 1986 at a New York nightclub before taking him and Mr Rapp, 14, back to his apartment.
Mr. Spacey and Mr. Barrowman slept together, the court heard.
Mr Spacey’s lawyer, Jennifer Keller, said her client’s attention was on Mr Barrowman throughout the evening and that ‘nothing inappropriate’ happened.
Mr Spacey had ‘not offered (Mr Rapp) alcohol’ and the pair were never alone together, Ms Keller told the court – which Mr Rapp accepted.
Asked if he thought he was ‘seen as a tagalong’ that night, Mr Rapp said: ‘No’.
On Wednesday he said he felt “included” in the conversations and had seen no flirtatious behavior between Mr Spacey and Mr Barrowman.
Mr Rapp’s lawyer, Peter Saghir, later asked him why of all his ‘traumatic’ experiences he had chosen to speak about the alleged incident with Mr Spacey.
“Because the memory of that is etched in my memory like what happened in the bedroom with Kevin Spacey,” Mr Rapp replied.
“It was the most traumatic event…as I looked back in my life.
“I understand that this experience and the effect it has had on me over time and continues to have…it is separate from those events because (they) have not had the same lingering impact.”
The hearing is expected to last two weeks and is being held in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, presided over by Judge Lewis A Kaplan.
In a civil case in the United States, any allegation must only be proven “on a balance of probabilities” rather than the criminal standard “beyond a reasonable doubt”.