Kevin Spacey faces New York jury in sexual assault lawsuit

NEW YORK — Kevin Spacey looked toward jurors Thursday as a lawyer told them that Spacey was trying to satisfy sexual urges when he jumped on top of a then-14-year-old actor on a bed at a party in 1986, but a lawyer for the “House of Cards” star said it never happened.

The opening statements in a trial expected to last less than two weeks came in a lawsuit brought by Anthony Rapp, the actor who in 2017 made the first in a string of sexual misconduct allegations that left Spacey’s theater and filmmaking career in tatters.

The lawsuit stems from an alleged encounter between the two men in 1986, when Rapp was a child actor performing in a Broadway play and Spacey, then 26, was having a breakout moment on Broadway.

Rapp said the older actor invited him to a party at his Manhattan apartment, then tried to seduce him in a bedroom after the other guests had left.

Attorney Jennifer Keller, representing Spacey, said the actor has avoided discussing the case in the media and social media but was looking forward to testifying at trial.

“He wants justice,” she said. “Once you’ve heard both sides, you’ll be convinced this alleged assault never happened at all.”