June 27, 2019 / 4:11 PM / 4 months ago

Actor Kevin Spacey's alleged sex assault victim sues over 'lascivious conduct'

BOSTON (Reuters) - The man former "House of Cards" star Kevin Spacey is charged with sexually assaulting at a bar on the Massachusetts beach island of Nantucket three years ago has sued the Oscar-winning actor.

FILE PHOTO: Actor Kevin Spacey arrives to face a sexual assault charge at Nantucket District Court in Nantucket, Massachusetts, U.S., January 7, 2019. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

Spacey's alleged victim sued the 59-year-old defendant in Nantucket County Superior Court on Wednesday, seeking unspecified damages over his "explicit sexual behavior and lewd and lascivious conduct."

Prosecutors last year filed a related criminal case against Spacey over the man's allegations. Spacey, who won an Academy Award in 2000 for his role in "American Beauty," has pleaded not guilty to one count of felony indecent assault and battery and denies the allegation.

Reuters is not identifying the man because he is an alleged victim of sexual assault. Spacey's lawyer did not respond to a request for comment.

Spacey became embroiled in controversy in October 2017 when actor Anthony Rapp accused him of trying to seduce him in 1986 when Rapp was 14. The controversy led to Spacey being dropped from the Netflix television series "House of Cards" and erased from the film "All the Money in the World."

Spacey apologized for inappropriate conduct with Rapp.

He is one of dozens of men in the entertainment industry, business and politics who have been accused of sexual misconduct since accusations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein in 2017 sparked the #MeToo movement.

This week's lawsuit alleged Spacey bought the man, then 18, multiple alcoholic drinks and groped his genitals without his consent at the Club Car Restaurant on Nantucket in July 2016.

The Nantucket allegations were first raised in 2017 by former television journalist Heather Unruh, who told reporters Spacey groped her teenage son.

The victim told police Spacey had bought him several rounds of beer and whiskey and said at one point, "Let's get drunk," according to charging documents.

As they stood next to a piano, Spacey groped him, he told investigators.

Spacey's lawyers have accused Unruh's son of deleting text messages that would support his defense. The judge overseeing his criminal case recently ordered Spacey's accuser to provide his cellphone to the defense.

But the man's attorney, Mitchell Garabedian, on July 19 told the court the accuser cannot find the phone. The judge has ordered Unruh, Garabedian and the accuser to attend a July 8 hearing if it cannot be found.

Reporting by Nate Raymond; Editing by Scott Malone and Tom Brown

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