Kevin Spacey accuser Anthony Rapp testified Tuesday that watching some of the veteran star’s flicks “felt unpleasantly familiar,” — particularly his seduction of a teen cheerleader in the 1999 hit film “American Beauty.”
Rapp, 50, is suing the Oscar-winning actor for $40 million in Manhattan federal court, claiming Spacey tried to seduce him when he was 14 and attending a party at the then-26-year-old star’s Manhattan apartment.
Rapp told jurors he was traumatized by the encounter, and uneasy when he watched the “American Beauty” scene where Spacey’s character, Lester Burnham, becomes “sexually involved with a teenage girl.”
He said he had a similar reaction when he saw Spacey’s role as a workplace sexual harasser in the 1988 movie “Working Girl.”
Rapp, an openly gay actor whose roles include the Broadway hit “Rent,” said he felt “as if someone poked me with a cattle prod,” and “jumped out of my seat.” while watching the film.
But Rapp said he felt compelled to watch the movies because, as an actor, “I felt it was part of my job to see them.
“As a fellow actor, I thought I had to do my best to get over it,” Rapp said.
Rapp, said a drunken Spacey inflicted emotional distress on him with his alleged sexual advances in 1986.
He claimed Spacey grabbed his buttocks, lifted him into a bed and laid on top of him.
Rapp filed the civil lawsuit seeking $40 million in damages.
During cross examination, Rapp told jurors that Spacey never attempted to touch his genitals or take off his clothing during the alleged encounter.
“He didn’t discuss sex with you in any way,” Spacey attorney Jennifer Keller asked, and Rapp replied that the actor had not.
Keller peppered Rapp with a series of questions about his career as a moderately successful actor, compared to Spacey, who rose to the height of the stage and screen during the 1990s.
At one point, Keller noted that Rapp recorded an album and had trouble selling the CD and getting music critics to review it. At one promotional event, he was able to hawk only about two dozen copies, Keller said.
In her opening statement, Keller had painted Rapp as a disgruntled and bitter actor who blamed his alleged encounter with Spacey on everything that had gone wrong in his life and career.
Spacey, now 63, has denied the allegations and charged that Rapp filed the suit because he was jealous that his coming out as gay didn’t jumpstart his career.
The lawsuit seeks money and does not carry a potential prison sentence — although Spacey could be in hot water in criminal charges that are also hanging over him.
In July, he pleaded not guilty to sex assault charges in London, where he is accused of abusing a number of men while an artistic director at a local theater from 2005 to 2013.
He is scheduled to stand trial in that case next year.