MALIBU—A sexual battery lawsuit filed against actor Kevin Spacey three years ago by a massage therapist was dismissed Monday, December 30 due to the plaintiff’s death.
Attorneys for the plaintiff’s estate filed in a Los Angeles Court Monday, stipulating the dismissal. The case was dismissed with prejudiced meaning the case cannot be refiled.
After the plaintiff passed away on September 18, heirs of his estate were to continue the case by representing him in court. In October the District Attorney declined to file any charges against Spacey. Prosecutors said that since the plaintiff died the trial could no longer proceed because allegations could not be proven without his participation.
The plaintiff, only known by his profession as a massage therapist, was allegedly battling cancer for some time prior to his death. It has not been confirmed if cancer was the official cause of death.
The lawsuit sought unspecified damages on accusations of sexual battery, gender violence, false imprisonment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. There was no indication if a financial settlement was reached.
The actor who appeared in House of Cards was accused of forcing a massage therapist to touch his genitals and attempting to kiss him during a private massage session in his Malibu residence in 2016. Initially, Spacey wanted the trial dismissed due to the victim’s preference to remain anonymous. A federal judge denied the dismissal stating that Spacey did not have to know the name of the plaintiff at the current stage of the lawsuit. The judge moved the case forward in May earlier this year.
Gene Harrison, legal representative for the plaintiff sent a statement to the Hollywood Reporter following the alleged victim’s death in September:
“His untimely death was, to his family, a devastating shock that they are struggling to process and is so recent that they have not yet held his funeral service. Out of professional responsibility, we notified Spacey’s counsel of Mr. Doe’s passing. We explained our intent to allow his family more time to get past their immediate, paralyzing grief and begin settling his affairs before we filed a death notice with the court — which is our prerogative as his counsel.”
Several men accuse Spacey of sexual misconduct, one a minor at the time of the assault. Actor Anthony Rapp claimed Spacey, who was 26 at the time, made unwanted sexual advances toward him when Rapp was 14. Author and former Norwegian royal Ari Behn, 47, who accused Spacey of grouping, took his own life on Christmas day 2019.