A federal judge ordered that a man who accused Kevin Spacey of sexual harassment would reveal himself within 10 days in order for the actor’s civil lawsuit to continue.
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, reasoning that arguing against an anonymous accuser would disproportionately strain Spacey’s protection.
The guy, now in his 50s, accused Spacey, 61, of sexually assaulting him when he was 12 years old and enrolled in a Westchester County acting class taught 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 with actor Anthony Rapp, who first made public allegations against Spacey in 2017, alleging that the actor groped and slept on top of him in his apartment bed in 1986.
In response to the legal lawsuit, Spacey stated that he could not recall the event involving Rapp and denied inviting Rapp to any party at his home; nonetheless, Spacey stated that if he did act as Rapp describes, he owes him “the sincerest apology for what would have been inappropriate drunken behaviour.”