Spacey attorney Jennifer Keller continued her cross-examination of Plaintiff Anthony Rapp on Wednesday in New York Federal Court, wrapping up after about an hour.
In addition to showing Rapp’s tenuous career—Star Trek wasn’t yet a hit; renewal wasn’t guaranteed, which meant he was facing possible unemployment—Keller asked why Rapp didn’t go to a more prominent outlet to convey his allegations against Spacey.
Isn’t BuzzFeed known for lists and quizzes about celebrities?Defense attorney, Jennifer Keller
Prior to his Kevin Spacey allegation story in BuzzFeed, Adam Vary was churning out viral hits that included:
But I get it.
If you wanted to topple one of the most successful actors in generations, with 30-old allegations, no witnesses, and no evidence, Adam Vary is an understandable choice.
Rapp defended asking his long-time pal by saying Vary was someone he trusted and believed to be fair.
…and then he said Vary suggested they “steer away from specificity” that defendant Spacey could repute.
A litter later, Rapp added he had “no involvement” in the article’s writing and didn’t see it before it was published.
Not that he didn’t ask, however, according to Vary.
In court documents, Vary claims that Rapp wanted to review the article before it went to press, but Vary denied Rapp’s request.
This exchange was, well, interesting: (quotes are approximate)
Keller: Is this your idea of a reporter of integrity-someone who would massage a story in this way?
Rapp: To some degree
Keller: You never told Mr. Vary that this was dishonest journalism?
Did you catch that?
Keller: Is this your idea of a reporter of integrity
Rapp: To some degree
I’d love to know how Vary feels about his friend of twenty years describing him as a reporter of “some” integrity.
Rapp’s attorney followed Keller on redirect. But before letting Rapp leave the stand, Peter Saghir asked his client about his reasons for going public with his allegations against Kevin Spacey in BuzzFeed.
I came forward because I knew I was not the only one Kevin Spacey had made advances toAnthony Rapp
Rapp’s inadmissible response prompted an immediate objection from the defense. Judge Kaplan sustained the objection and ordered it stricken from the official record, and told the jury to disregard.
There’s just one problem—a jury can’t unhear something.
A bench conference followed, where Saghir argued—and lost—his attempt to validate the inclusion of the statement, with Judge Kaplan stating that the “Ruling stands.”
Uttering statements that are knowingly inadmissible is a no-no.
And, of course, Saghir would know it’s inadmissible.
I’m wagering that’s the precise reason he has encouraged Rapp’s testimony to include it. By Rapp uttering the inflammatory statement, the jury hears it—and Saghir delivers it directly into the hands of the reporters who lap up the spoon-fed, clickable quote-headline like kittens offered a warm saucer of milk.
But I guess that’s where we are.
When you don’t have actual facts to back up your case, you have to resort to clever tricks that skirt the rules of engagement.
Classy move, counselor. (Remind me never to play poker with you.)
In preparation for trial, many witnesses, defendants, and plaintiffs are ‘prepped’ for their time before the judge or jury. It’s standard, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a good thing. It helps people get their testimony across and ensures they touch on important factors or points.
And it seems pretty dang evident to me that Mr. Rapp has been VERY WELL prepped for his performance on the stand.
While lawyers can’t tell someone what words to use, many will coach a client or witness on how to answer a question.
Interestingly, if you look at assault case testimony, you’ll find common phrases. For example, it’s common in assault cases for a witness to say they “didn’t ask for this” or that it “wasn’t my fault,” or words to that effect as Rapp has done.
It is something that happened to me that was not OK.Anthony Rapp
These powerful, emotional statements can sway a jury—and wind up in headlines, as they have done here.
Prepping your client for maximum impact — 1 point to the PlaintiffEmbed from Getty Images
A friend of the Plaintiff, Christopher Hart, was called to testify. While Hart stated Rapp told him the Kevin Spacey story, he also stated for the record that he had “No first-hand knowledge.” He also confirmed that Rapp did not tell him about meeting Jack Lemmon or that his role on Broadway involved Ed Harris assaulting him in the show nightly.
Then the court was sealed under rule 412, which limits what/ how information about a plaintiff’s sexual history can be included. Rumor has it the court was sealed to allow questions on testimony from Hart about sex with Anthony Rapp. (But remember, folks, that is just rumor—albeit from a reliable source)
Lisa Rocchio, a forensic psychologist, rounded out the afternoon. Rocchio is an expert witness hired by the Plaintiff. She examined Rapp and testified later in the day that he had experienced “a tremendous amount of shame, guilt and confusion” attributing it to the alleged encounter with Spacey.
KEVIN SPACEY-ANTHONY RAPP TRIAL: DAY 4—SPACEY 2; RAPP 2
The day’s win goes to the Plaintiff. Not for exemplary legal work, but for phenomenal media control, aka reputation management.
Mr. Saghir’s skillful questioning of Rapp set him up perfectly to deliver a single comment for which they have shown zero proof and was inadmissible in court—but one that sent the media frothing, nonetheless.