BOSTON (Reuters) - The man that former “House of Cards” star Kevin Spacey is accused by prosecutors of sexually assaulting in Massachusetts three years ago has dropped a civil lawsuit he filed against the Oscar-winning actor only last week.
Mitchell Garabedian, the alleged victim’s lawyer, on Friday said his client filed papers on Wednesday to voluntarily dismiss a lawsuit in Nantucket County Superior Court that accused Spacey of “explicit sexual behavior and lewd and lascivious conduct.”
Garabedian declined to comment further on the dismissal, citing the pending criminal case prosecutors filed last year against Spacey. The civil lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice, meaning his client cannot refile the case later.
Spacey, who won an Academy Award in 2000 for his role in “American Beauty,” has pleaded not guilty to one count of felony indecent assault and battery at a bar on the Massachusetts beach island of Nantucket. Spacey denies the allegation.
Reuters is not identifying the accuser because he is an alleged victim of sexual assault. Spacey’s lawyer did not respond to a request for comment.
Spacey first became embroiled in controversy in October 2017 when actor Anthony Rapp accused him of trying to seduce him in 1986 when Rapp was 14. The controversy led to Spacey being dropped from the Netflix television series “House of Cards” and erased from the film “All the Money in the World.”
Spacey, 59, apologized for inappropriate conduct with Rapp.
Spacey is one of dozens of men in the entertainment industry, business and politics who have been accused of sexual misconduct following the emergence in 2017 of the #MeToo movement.
Prosecutors charged Spacey in the Nantucket case in December.
The accuser told police Spacey had bought him several rounds of beer and whiskey at the Club Car Restaurant on Nantucket in July 2016 when he was 18 years old and said at one point, “Let’s get drunk,” according to charging documents.
As they stood next to a piano, Spacey groped him, he told investigators.
Spacey’s lawyers have accused the man of deleting text messages that would support his defense. The judge overseeing his criminal case recently ordered Spacey’s accuser to provide his cellphone to the defense.
But Garabedian on June 19 told the court the accuser cannot find the phone. The judge has ordered the accuser, his parents and Garabedian to attend a hearing on Monday if it cannot be found.
Reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston; Editing by Howard Goller
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.