Opening of the trial of Kevin Spacey; Harvey Weinstein, Danny Masterson and Paul Haggis Sex Crimes Cases in Court Next Week – Deadline
(2:10 p.m. PT, updated with Spacey trial opening statements and new Haggis trial start date) Opening statements have begun in Kevin Spacey’s trial over sexual abuse allegations by Discovery of Star Trekit’s Anthony Rapp. The proceedings in federal court in New York come as Harvey Weinstein, Danny Masterson and Paul Haggis all face their own sex crimes trials starting next week.
After an extremely rapid jury selection this morning in the Manhattan courtroom of District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, Keller Anderle’s attorneys for Spacey, and attorneys for Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigma for Rapp will present the starting volleys of their case to the six men and six women chosen to serve. First filed by Rapp in 2020 following allegations he went public in October 2017, the $40 million civil case alleges that in 1986 Spacey fondled and trapped the 14-year-old on the the accused’s bed without his consent during a theatrical evening. Quickly Pink slipped from her lead role in the acclaimed Netflix series Card castle When further allegations of sexual misconduct emerged on the political thriller, Oscar winner Spacey denied Rapp’s claims and awkwardly took the opportunity to reveal he was gay in what was widely seen as an attempt missed distraction.
The lawsuit centers on Rapp’s allegations of assault and battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Already facing a UK sexual assault trial scheduled for June 2023, and forced to pay $31 million awarded to CoC MRC producers back in late 2020 because his behavior constituted a material breach of his acting and executive producer agreements, Spacey is expected to testify in his own defense at the New York trial.
Rapp will likely speak as well.
(Opening statements: Remarkably, Thursday’s opening statements presented not just two different perspectives on what happened at Spacey’s New York apartment more than 35 years ago, but essentially two different realities.
For Rapp’s lawyer, Peter Saghir, the case was rather simple and dry. “What happened to Anthony is something that should never have happened,” the attorney told the judge and jury. “The driving here involved a 14-year-old boy and a 26-year-old man,” Saghir added, showing a 1986 photo of Rapp to emphasize how young the actor looked and was. After detailing the incident and drawing from an earlier deposition by Rapp, Saghir exclaimed that as his client tried to get out of Spacey’s pad, the elderly actor leaned over the door and shoved. asked, “Are you sure you want to go?”
Across the courtroom, as Spacey himself looked on, the American Beauty actor’s attorney, Jennifer Keller, called Rapp jealous, a lie and unreliable. “He never became the international star that Kevin Spacey did,” Keller said, emphasizing his position that the incident was not just made up, but that part of it was taken out of the picture. precious sonthe Broadway production he starred in in 1986. “He’s been simmering and simmering with resentment all this time,” the lawyer said of Rapp, mockingly claiming he hit his peak in 2000 when the actor looked in Lease. Keller also sued Rapp for allegedly spreading the Spacy story for years, but never going to authorities or speaking about it publicly. The attorney also claimed that the apartment in which Spacey lived, where the alleged misconduct occurred, was so small that Rapp’s description of the events could not have occurred.
“This is a case of objective facts disproving the story told by Mr. Rapp,” Keller told jurors in a trial that looks like it could end in a week at this rate.)
Also facing sexual assault claims in Europe, Accident Director Haggis was due to start his own trial in New York on October 11. Publicist Haleigh Breest claimed in 2017 that Haggis assaulted her in 2013 after the two attended the film’s premiere. Side effects. After various efforts by Haggis to have the case thrown out, the New York judge ruled in mid-2018 that the case could proceed, but the Covid-19 pandemic put the case on hold until next week. .
The trial start date has now been pushed back slightly to October 17, after a series of motions from Haggis’ side were dismissed at a preliminary hearing today.
Taking place not far from the federal courthouse where Spacey’s trial is taking place, the much-delayed proceedings for fellow Oscar winner Haggis will be based in Judge Sabrina Kraus’ courtroom at the Manhattan Civil Courthouse. Out of house arrest in Italy for the alleged repeated sexual abuse of an unnamed woman he allegedly met in April at the Monte Carlo Film Festival, Haggis has always insisted the interaction with Breest was consensual . The former Scientologist also floated the idea that the accusations are part of a campaign of harassment by his ex-church. Judge Krause agreed to let Haggis and his lawyers develop their idea at trial.
On the West Coast, the Weinstein and Masterson trials will take place before separate juries in downtown Los Angeles at separate ends of the ninth floor of the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center next week.
Simmering behind bars for more than a year since being extradited from a state prison outside Buffalo in the summer of 2021, the previously convicted East Coast pulp Fiction Producer faces grand jury indictments on four counts of rape, four counts of forced oral copulation, one count of forcible sexual penetration, plus one count of sexual assault and duress sex in incidents involving five women in LA County over a nine-year period. Sentenced to 23 years in prison by a Manhattan jury in March 2020 for multiple sex crimes, Weinstein faces 140 years in prison if convicted at the LA trial – which literally begins as the fifth anniversary approaches. the New York Times exposé on Weinstein who is widely credited with starting the #MeToo movement.
However, this being the real world and not Law and order, jury selection in the Weinstein LA trial is sure to be controversial. Defense and prosecutorial sources predict it could be more than a week before a mutually agreeable jury sits in the Los Angeles Superior Court judge’s courtroom, Lisa Lench.
After repeatedly failing to have the West Coast case dismissed or stopped, Weinstein, 70, has seen a ray of hope emerge in New York in recent months. In August, Janet DiFiore, Chief Justice of the New York State Court of Appeals, granted Weinstein the right to appeal his case in New York. Oral arguments on whether the producer received a fair trial in 2020 will begin in early 2023, the judge said. There is, in fact, a slim chance that Weinstein could be freed from his sentence on the East Coast while the NYC appeal progresses and cases continue in Los Angeles.
Unlike the Weinstein case, Masterson’s DTLA trial on October 11 will more than likely have a jury sitting relatively quickly.
Yet, in a process that could unfold close to Christmas, the former That 70s show The star’s trial could have consequences far beyond the courtroom.
Masterson, a longtime Scientologist, was arrested in June 2020 on three counts of forcible rape that allegedly took place in 2001 and 2003 at his Hollywood Hills home. On $3.3 million bail, Masterson, defended by Tom Mesereau, is considering a possible maximum sentence of 45 years to life in prison if convicted. Masterson, who was later dropped from Netflix’s comedy co-star Ashton Kutcher the ranch in late 2017, as the claims became known, still denied having had nonconsensual sex with anyone.
In many ways, the Church of Scientology is an anonymous co-defendant in the Masterson case.
The David Miscavige-led organization failed earlier this week to get the Supreme Court to accept the group’s desire to stop several former church members and alleged victims of Masterson from being brought to trial for surveillance, harassment and murder of pets. The now-revived trial of four women who claimed they were targeted by Scientology after turning themselves in to the LAPD with their claims against the actor is on hold pending Masterson’s criminal case. Yet, with the behind-closed-doors “religious arbitration” effort shot down by SCOTUS and former Scientologists among the victims of Masterson’s lawsuit, the methods and potential complicity of the celebrity-rich Church will now be in the judicial spotlight. and media almost as much as the actor himself.
Whatever the outcome of the respective Spacey, Haggis, Weinstein and Masterson cases, it will not end with these trials. Whatever the verdicts, expect appeals, lots of them.