Anthony Rapp lied.
Here’s the verdict of the American Beauty actor Kevin Spacey trial: Anthony Rapp lied about the whole damn thing.
Actually, it’s worse than that. Star Trek actor Anthony Rapp cobbled together other people’s personal stories—stole them from friends, fellow artists, and previously published works—then he re-wrote them to suit his own needs and passed them off as his own.
Let’s lay out the evidence for this. We’ll start with the little inconsistencies in Rapp’s claim, the big are-you-kidding-me coincidences, the admitted lies by Rapp himself, and finally the concrete evidence that proves this media circus was a lie from the beginning.
What happened to Kevin Spacey?
To quickly recap: On October 20th, 2022, the civil trail brought forth by Anthony Rapp against two-time Oscar-winner and American Beauty star Kevin Spacey came to an end. After only an hour an twenty minutes of deliberation, the jury ruled in Kevin Spacey’s favor and decided that no damages whatsoever should be awarded to Rapp.
Back in 1986, Rapp claimed Kevin Spacey invited him to a dinner party to meet and mix with some other theatre professionals. Rapp was fourteen that year and Spacey was twenty-six. Both actors were in separate Broadway productions at the time.
Rapp said that when showed up to this dinner party he didn’t recognize anyone and quickly grew bored. He then claimed he found his way into Spacey’s bedroom to watch T.V..
Here’s the direct passage from the accusation article, written by Adam B. Vary, Rapp’s friend of twenty years:
Rapp said he ended up wandering into the bedroom, sitting on the edge of the bed, and watching TV well past midnight.
At some point, Rapp said he turned to see Spacey standing at the bedroom door. And that’s when he first realized that everyone else had left the party. They were alone.
“My memory was that I thought, Oh, everybody’s gone. Well, yeah, I should probably go home,” Rapp said. Spacey, he recalled, “sort of stood in the doorway, kind of swaying. My impression when he came in the room was that he was drunk.” Rapp doesn’t remember Spacey saying anything to him. Instead, Rapp said, “He picked me up like a groom picks up the bride over the threshold. But I don’t, like, squirm away initially, because I’m like, ‘What’s going on?’ And then he lays down on top of me.”From the original Buzzfeed article, published Oct 29,2017
After this alleged assault, Rapp says he managed to wriggle out from underneath Spacey and go into the bathroom. Rapp says he then left Spacey’s apartment, unobstructed, and went home. No other person who was at this supposed party has ever come forward to confirm or deny the events as described by Rapp.
Three years after this story was published, Rapp decided that this event from 1986 was so traumatizing that he sued Spacey in civil court for $40 million in damages.
That’s the accusation and the case in a nutshell. Let’s break down why Rapp’s claim is bullshit.
Anthony Rapp’s little inconsistencies
First, let’s look at some of the problems with Rapp’s story as it stands in the Buzzfeed article—problems that the Rent actor has never fully explained or clarified.
- If Rapp was already sitting on Spacey’s bed, why would Spacey pick him up “like a bride,” only to put him right back down?
- If the whole purpose for going to the party in the first place was to meet new people, why didn’t Rapp do that?
- How could Spacey—a five-foot-eight man who is “unsteady on his feet” drunk—manage to pick up a hundred-pound kid from a bed in the first place without falling flat on his face?
- How can anyone pick up someone “like a bride” without the “bride” helping them? Go ahead, try this yourself. Pick up someone that particular way who doesn’t want to be picked up. It doesn’t work. The “bride” needs to help in the action, p their arm around the “groom’s” neck.
- Finally, how does a fourteen-year-old kid manage to get home on his own, unscathed and un-assaulted, through twenty blocks of 1986 New York City “well after midnight?” For that matter, how did he get to the party on his own in the first place?
Just to add a little extra clarity to that last point, statistics from the 1980s show that the number of violent crimes in New York City averaged at about 175,000 incidents—that’s including about 2,000 murders, 5,300 rapes, and 70,000 assaults—per year. Rapp’s defense of his mother’s negligence in this matter boils down to this quip: “it was another era.”
Ok, you might say, these inconsistencies by Rapp may be problematic, but they don’t exonerate Spacey.
Fair enough. So then—let’s look at the big problems with Rapp’s story.
The first big problem: John Barrowman
John Barrowman is probably best known for playing the dashing Captain Jack Harkness on the BBC series Torchwood. But back in 1986, he was an unknown actor living in Joliet, Illinois.
While in Joliet, a young Barrowman performed onstage in a production of Oliver! that also featured another young actor by the name of Anthony Rapp. Although Barrowman was older by four or five years, the two became friends.
Later, when Anthony Rapp was cast in the Broadway production of Precious Sons by George Firth, he invited his nineteen-year-old friend to come stay with him and Rapp’s mother in New York. The ambitious actor could check out the city’s famous theatre scene for the first time. Barrowman accepted.
We know all of this because Barrowman wrote about it in his 2008 biography entitled Anything Goes, published nine years before Rapp made his allegation.
Several key details in Barrowman’s biography—confirmed by Barrowman himself under oath during the trial—echo several details of Rapp’s allegation. Except, the events described in Barrowman book paint a very different picture. For example, there is the Limelight story.
The Limelight story
In the original Buzzfeed story and in later interviews, Rapp insinuated that Spacey—as a kind of grooming action— pulled some celebrity strings to get himself and Rapp into a NY club called The Limelight.
From the Buzzfeed article:
Spacey then invited both boys to join him at the popular nightclub Limelight, even though, as Rapp explained, “I looked younger than 14.”
“I don’t know how— We got in through the front door,” Rapp continued. “We didn’t have to show ID. And we sat with him in some VIP area.” Rapp noted that he had no memory of being offered alcohol — “It was just a fun night just talking and hanging out,” he said — and at some point, Spacey invited him to attend a party he was hosting a few days later at his Manhattan apartment.From the Oct 29, 2017 Buzzfeed article written by Adam B. Vary
But Barrowman’s autobiography has a different version of this exact same story. Barrowman confirmed during the trial that, yes, he was the other person to accompany Rapp and Spacey to the Limelight club. But his version of events started with Rapp and Barrowman seeing Spacey in the Broadway production of Long Days’ Journey Into Night.
From Barrowman’s book:
After this show, Anthony [Rapp] and I found our way backstage and I ended up having a whisky in Jack Lemmon’s dressing room while we listened to him tell stories about Broadway and Hollywood, Marilyn Monroe and Tony Curtis, and about the ‘good old days’ of theatre. Kevin Spacey came down to say hello and ended up joining us for drinks.
Later that evening, Anthony, Kevin and I went for a bite to eat, and then Kevin took us to the Limelight Club, a dance club in Manhattan in a converted old church, where I drank vodka tonics with Phoebe Cates and a very young Drew Barrymore.Page 176 of John Barrowman’s autobiography, Anything Goes, published 2008
“A very young Drew Barrymore” is quite accurate—she would have been eleven at the time.
Ms. Barrymore has been quite open about her underage drinking during her troubled childhood. It seems obvious here that the Limelight had no problems letting underage people, or celebrities at least, into their establishment or serving them alcohol.
Rapp never mentioned before the trial about going to see Spacey in a performance. Instead, Rapp claimed he had met Spacey twice before at post-performance gatherings with other theatre people. It was at this supposed second chance meeting, Rapp says, that Spacey invited him to a dinner party at his apartment.
Another dinner party
Barrowman, too, mentions a dinner party in his autobiography—and it’s place in the book is very interesting. Barrowman describes a conversation with legendary actor Ian McKellen who, like Rapp, is a strong advocate of all gay actors coming out publicly.
Barrowman’s book again:
I remember a conversation I had with Ian once, in which he suggested that he and I should plan a dinner party and invite all the actors who are gay and afraid to come out. We’d make them stay at the table until they realized that they can be successful and gay at the same time. Who would be at this dinner party? Sadly, too many.Page 165 of John Barrowman’s autobiography, 2008
While this might seem a minor coincidence at first glance, what comes next in Barrowman’s book is anything but.
The “are-you-kidding-me” coincidence
This next passage from Barrowman’s book, on it’s own, would have likely been enough to acquit Kevin Spacey during the trial.
When I was eighteen, I found myself in a compromising position on a bed in a New York loft with a man whom I would consider to be one of the finest actors of my generation. Nothing ended up happening, but over the years our paths have crossed at a distance, and I think this man would be a prime candidate for an invite to Ian’s imagined dinner party.Page 165 of John Barrowman’s autobiography, 2008
Under oath, Barrowman confirmed that the unnamed actor he referred to in this passage was, in fact, Kevin Spacey.
Are we to believe that actor Anthony Rapp’s friend—who, don’t forget, was staying with Rapp and his mother at the time—just happened to have a strikingly similar interaction with Spacey?
Barrowman also testified that Rapp, himself, also accompanied the two men to Spacey’s apartment to “see the great view and to meet his dog,” Slaight, a black Labrador. (Spacey, by the way, used to take Slaight with him everywhere, including backstage during Broadway performances. Rapp never mentioned seeing a dog at Spacey’s apartment.)
In his testimony, Barrowman added that the primary reason that “nothing ended up happening” with Spacey was because there was a kid there, Rapp. Both men, he said, felt that taking things further at that time was inappropriate. All three actors parted ways, according to Barrowman, amicably.
Rapp has repeatedly said he had never been to Spacey’s apartment prior to the alleged assault.
This, I believe, is a prime example of Rapp’s methodology. The two key elements in Barrowman’s story on page 165 are 1) a fictitious dinner party followed by 2) an almost-sexual encounter with famous actor Kevin Spacey. Rapp took this and rewrote it for himself.
But if all that isn’t enough for you, there’s even more problems—an admission of lying by Rapp on the stand plus hard evidence that the event never happened at all.
Another big problem with Anthony Rapp’s story: Anthony Rapp
Like many actors do, Rapp published a memoir in 2006 about his personal and professional life.
“Without You: a memoir of love, loss, and the musical Rent” tells stories of Rapp growing up as an actor, his childhood, the events surrounding the famous production of Rent, and the loss of his mother to cancer. Rapp even performed a stage version of his book.
Despite multiple stories of dark moments in Rapp’s life, nothing remotely resembling his supposed assault is mentioned in the book at all. (Side note here: Rapp had been seeing a therapist for twenty years prior to his allegation but had never—not once—ever mentioned anything during these sessions about Spacey. This was confirmed under oath during the trial.)
Several passages in Rapp’s memoir bring up some very uncomfortable contradictions about a man who claims that Spacey’s assault gave him PTSD. Two passages in particular grossly dispel the narrative that Rapp was some innocent kid, totally unfamiliar with sexual matters. He practically brags about the exact opposite.
Anthony Rapp was very sexually active in 1986
A passage in the memoir, Without You, tells of Anthony Rapp’s group sex with boys his own age prior to traveling to New York to star in Precious Sons,
At least when I had fooled around with my friends Christopher and Stephen, masturbating together and occasionally going down on each other, we had talked before and after, andPage 175 of Rapp’s memoir, Without You
But perhaps the most uncomfortable passage to read in this memoir is when Rapp details his sexual relationship with an adult neighbor in 1986, the same year that Spacey supposedly gave him PTSD for drunkenly touching his backside for three seconds.
This neighbor, given the pseudonym “Ricky” in the memoir, is described as following:
Ricky was the ringleader of our group’s little gatherings. He was darkhaired and olive-skinned, Italian (judging by his last name, D’Angelo), and older-looking than his eighteen years.Page 165 of Anthony Rapp’s autobiography, Without You
A few pages later, Rapp graphicly and salaciously describes Ricky giving him oral sex.
And without another word, Ricky sat down on the bed next to me and started to run his hand through my hair. I froze and felt my shorts tighten around my groin. Before this moment, I hadn’t had any sexual thoughts about Ricky. I didn’t find him attractive; he was too flamboyant and edgy for me, although most people would probably think he was handsome, with his mature, five-o’clock-shadowed square jaw and intense eyes and dark hair. But now there he was, with his hand resting tenderly on my head, and my heart started to race and my face started to heat up, and in that moment I definitely wanted him to do more to me than just run his fingers through my hair.Page 174 of Anthony Rapp’s memoir
The description goes on but I’m not sure I could continue without risking pornography charges. I’m not exaggerating, the details written by Rapp are very graphic.
Rapp specifically states in the passage that the sexual relationship between him and the adult “Ricky” was not initiated by Rapp. (Nor could an adult-minor relationship ever be considered consensual.) Yet, in the book, the incident is not portrayed as negative.
In fact, in a later passage, Rapp describes how he strikes his mother across the face, knocking her glasses off when she demands that her underage child stop seeing this man.
To date, Rapp has not requested that charges be filed against Ricky. Perhaps Ricky never crossed a line by touching Rapp’s backside while he was blowing him? We may never know.
Not enough? No problem. Here’s solid evidence.
Kevin Spacey’s apartment—the concrete evidence
Documentation produced during the civil trial proved that Rapp’s story could not have happened. Rarely is the term “concrete evidence” so apt.
This is a floorplan of Kevin Spacey’s apartment from 1986:
It is a loft. There is no bedroom.
Mr. Spacy is, apparently, a bit of a pack-rat who kept his signed leases. Good thing for his sake.
John Barrowman, too, confirmed during his testimony that the apartment that Spacey took him to had no bedroom.
Rapp would have to have noticed everyone leaving the party. He could not have seen Spacey standing in a bedroom doorway. He could not have gone off to watch television on his own, separated from all other guests.
There is no way Rapp’s story works in a no-bedroom loft.
Anthony Rapp’s revisionist storytelling
I wrote at the beginning of this article that I believe Rapp takes other people’s stories and makes them about himself.
Let’s look at three more examples of this.
In 1986, the story of George Firth’s Precious Sons involves a teenage kid who is carried by a drunken older man (his father in the play) into a bedroom where the man lays on top of him and tries to have sex with him.
Anthony Rapp testified that he didn’t mention his claim about Spacey to anyone until the early 90s. At that time, Rapp was involved in another play, off-Broadway one this time, called Sophistry by Johnathan Sherman. Sherman’s play deals with a “beloved New England professor” who allegedly sexually assaults one of his young students in his bedroom while drunk.
In the original Buzzfeed article, Rapp credited Lupita Nyong’o’s bravery as the inspiration for him to tell his story about Mr. Spacey.
Ms. Nyong’o penned an op-ed in the New York Times on October 19th, 2017, detailing how powerful producer Harvey Weinstien would invite her to his room, and repeatedly pressured the young actress to have sex with him. The incident was a milestone in the #metoo movement which was, at the time, about women’s rights.
On the stand, Rapp was forced to admit that the story of Nyong’o being his inspiration was a lie. Rapp admitted he had been consulting with Vary about his own story nine days before she published her op-ed. For a man who proclaimed himself a “proselytizing member” of the “Church of Wokeness,” it’s interesting to see that the @AlbinoKid is willing to steal the legitimate trauma of a Black woman to further his own agenda.
The Kevin Spacey verdict—does it matter?
All this evidence, as far as I’m concerned, proves that the story that Rapp told to the world never happened. But does it matter? After all, there are have been a lot of accusations leveled at Spacey. Surely, with so many claims of smoke, there must be a fire here?
In the next article, I’ll break down the other allegations and see if there is any fire or if it’s all just some media smokescreen.
Written by Adam H. Douglas