“My client and his family have shown an enormous amount of courage under difficult circumstances,” the accuser’s lawyer, Mitchell Garabedian, said in a statement Wednesday. Representatives for Spacey have not returned The Washington Post’s request for comment.
Spacey, who denies groping the man, had been charged in December — marking the first criminal case brought against the actor, who has faced multiple sexual assault allegations since the resurgence of the #MeToo movement. The accuser’s mother, former TV news anchor Heather Unruh, first spoke out about the alleged assault at a news conference in November 2017. She said Spacey got her 18-year-old son drunk at a crowded restaurant and grabbed his genitals, even as the younger man tried to shift his body away. (Court documents state that her son, who worked at the restaurant, told Spacey he was 23.)
According to the AP, the accuser was called to the stand earlier this month after saying he had lost the cellphone he used on the night in question. Spacey’s lawyers believe the phone contains text messages that would support the actor’s innocence. While the accuser denied deleting texts or manipulating screenshots on the phone he previously provided to investigators, the AP reported, he invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination after the defense asked him whether he knew tampering with evidence is a crime.
The first public accusation against Spacey came from actor Anthony Rapp, who told BuzzFeed News in October 2017 that Spacey had made sexual advances toward him in 1986, when Spacey was 26 and Rapp was 14. While Rapp’s allegations were outside the statute of limitations, investigations pertaining to other alleged incidents appear to be ongoing in the United States and Britain.