May 5 (UPI) — A federal judge ruled that a man who accused Kevin Spacey of sexual assault must identify himself in 10 days in order for a civil case against the actor to proceed.
U.S. District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled Monday that the public has legitimate interest in knowing the identity of the man, identified only as “C.D.,” adding that interest in the case “is magnified because C.D. has made his allegations against such a public figure.”
“C.D.’s privacy interest … does not outweigh the prejudice to Spacey and the presumption of open judicial proceedings,” Kaplan wrote, saying Spacey’s defense would be unfairly burdened by arguing against an unknown accuser.
The man, now in his 50s, accused Spacey, 61, of sexually abusing him at the age of 12 when he was in a Westchester County acting class led by the actor in 1981.
In a recent letter to the court, an attorney for the plaintiff said “C.D. has reluctantly decided” that he is “emotionally unable to proceed with the action” and will discontinue his claims if the court does not allow him to proceed with the case under a pseudonym.
“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 wrote.
Kaplan also noted that C.D. disclosed his identity to Vulture in a series of interviews that appeared on its website in November 2017.
“Vulture in turn sought to verify aspects of C.D.’s assertions with friends and acquaintances of C.D. That necessarily would have required Vulture to identify C.D., by his true identity,” wrote Kaplan. “Thus the evidence suggests that C.D. knowingly and repeatedly took risks 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.”
The accuser is a co-plaintiff along with actor Anthony Rapp, who first made public accusations against Spacey in 2017, saying the actor groped and laid on top of him in bed at his apartment in 1986.
Spacey has said he did not remember the incident involving Rapp and denied he invited Rapp to any party at his home in a response to the legal complaint, but Spacey said if he did behave as Rapp describes then he owes him “the sincerest apology for what would have been inappropriate drunken behavior.”