Judge Rules That $40 Million Sexual Assault Lawsuit Against Kevin Spacey Could Be Dismissed

(Photo by Nicole Harnishfeger-Pool/Getty Images)

Katie Jerkovich Entertainment Reporter
Font Size:

A federal judge ruled Monday that an anonymous accuser of Kevin Spacey must reveal his identity or his $40 million sexual assault lawsuit against the actor could be dismissed.

“The evidence suggests that C.D. [anonymous accuser] knowingly and repeatedly took the risk that any of these individuals at one point or another would reveal his true identity in a manner that would bring that identity to wide public attention, particularly given Spacey’s celebrity,” Judge Kaplan wrote in his 20-page memorandum opinion, Deadline reported, noting how the anonymous accuser shared his story with the press and other people.

“As media coverage of the allegations against Spacey grows, as would be very likely as this litigation proceeds and a trial approaches or takes place, it is only common sense to say that the risk of disclosure would grow,” he added, noting that the accuser has 10 days to refile the lawsuit under his real identity. (RELATED: Report: Kevin Spacey Facing 3 More Sexual Assault Allegations In London)

“He makes serious charges and, as a result, has put his credibility in issue,” Judge Kaplan’s memorandum continued of C.D.’s desire for anonymity in his case against the “House of Cards” star. (RELATED: ‘House Of Cards’ Production Resumes – With Two New Additions)

The anonymous person has accused Spacey of allegedly sexually abusing him in the 1980s when the man was 14.  He filed a lawsuit against the actor in September in which he recruited co-plaintiff and “Star Trek Discovery” star Anthony Rapp, USA Today reported.

The lawsuit noted how the Oscar-winning actor allegedly made a sexual advance towards Rapp when he was a teenager in the 1980s at a party while the two worked together on Broadway.

“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,” Kaplan’s statement continued.

“For the foregoing reasons, C.D. has not shown that his privacy interest is sufficient to warrant allowing him to litigate his sexual assault allegations anonymously,” he added. “Accordingly, on balance, the public interest does not weigh in favor of C.D.’s use of an (sic) pseudonym.”

C.D.’s attorney previously stated his client feels “extreme anxiety and psychological distress at even the thought of being required to proceed publicly” and would “discontinue his claims” if Kaplan ordered him to proceed publicly.