While testifying Tuesday in Kevin Spacey's trial, Spacey's accuser Anthony Rapp acknowledged a discrepancy in his account of why he decided to come forward with sexual abuse accusations against the actor. In their opening statement, Rapp's lawyers said he was inspired to come forward after Lupita Nyong'o came forward with her own sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein. But on Tuesday, one of Spacey's lawyers showed a text message from Rapp to a BuzzFeed News reporter dated eight days prior to the publication of Nyong'o's essay, NBC News reports. Rapp did not dispute the text message's accuracy, and ended up conceding on the stand that the story about Nyong'o's move inspiring him to go public with his own was "not true."
The New York Times first published an article about allegations against Weinstein on Oct. 5, 2017, but did not publish Nyong'o's essay until Oct. 19, 2017. Rapp's text message to reporter Adam B. Vary was sent on Oct. 11, 2017, and Vary's BuzzFeed article about Rapp's allegations against Spacey was published Oct. 29, 2017. Rapp said he "conflated" the general revelations about Weinstein with Nyong'o's specific essay, and that when he in 2018 claimed it was Nyong'o's essay that inspired him, "It was how I remember the events unfolding when I thought back on them." The lawyer also questioned Rapp about the 1986 night Spacey allegedly groped him when Rapp was just 14, delving into details from the deposition of Rapp's friend and fellow actor John Barrowman, who was with Rapp on the night in question.
The lawyer noted that Barrowman's deposition included details Rapp's account did not, such as Spacey allegedly flirting with Barrowman (he was 19 at the time, per the Mirror) and gently pushing him onto the bed. Barrowman said they may have gotten intimate had Rapp not been nearby, in the bathroom. Rapp said he did not dispute that account, but that he does not remember the same details Barrowman does. Spacey's defense team is attempting to paint Rapp as a struggling actor who was envious of Spacey's fame and fortune; during Tuesday's cross-examination, one of Spacey's attorneys claimed Rapp believed Spacey was a "fraud" for keeping his sexual orientation hidden. The actor came out as gay publicly for the first time shortly after Vary's article was published. Deadline reports Rapp seemed "rattled" as the attorney "hammered away" at him on the stand. (Read more Kevin Spacey stories.)