A judge has ruled a man who has accused Kevin Spacey of historical sex abuse must reveal his identity.
The accuser - who alleged the disgraced actor abused him when he was just 14 years old - is seeking $40 million damages but has been told the lawsuit can only move forward if he reveals his real name, after previously been known throughout proceedings as simply C.D.
US District Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled on Monday (03.05.21) that the man's privacy interest doesn't outweigh the prejudice his anonymity would bring to the 'American Beauty' actor's defense, or the presumption of open legal proceedings.
The judge pointed out that people who have information which could help Spacey wouldn't know to come forward.
And as the anonymous accuser had previously spoken to a number of people about his claims since the 1990s, including apparently cooperating for a New York magazine piece that appeared on Vulture in November 2017, the judge felt the man knew his identity could be exposed.
He ruled: "The evidence suggests that C.D. knowingly and repeatedly took the risk that any of these individuals at one point or another would reveal his true identity in a manner that would bring that identity to wide public attention.”
Judge Kaplan also noted the accuser had recruited his co-plaintiff, Anthony Rapp, for his lawsuit.
He told lawyers they have 10 days to reveal C.D.'s identity if he wishes to pursue the case.
In March, attorney Peter Saghir told the judge that C.D. felt “extreme anxiety and psychological distress at even the thought of being required to proceed publicly” and had reluctantly decided to drop his claims if he was ordered to proceed publicly.
But the judge insisted the claims lifting C.D.'s anonymity would trigger depression, anxiety and PTSD was a consequence that likely couldn't be prevented as the case progressed.
The 61-year-old actor had previously objected to C.D. remaining anonymous.
His lawyer previously claimed: "[Spacey] objects to Plaintiff C.D.’s use of a pseudonym and failure to disclose his identity, even to [Spacey]. Despite this improper withholding of his identity, and [Spacey’s] resulting inability to fully investigate and address the allegations, [Spacey] nonetheless makes a good faith attempt to answer the allegations in the Complaint.
"By providing this Answer, [Spacey] in no way suggests he has not been, and does not continue to be, prejudiced by Plaintiff C.D.’s anonymity. [Spacey] reserves the right to amend this Answer as deemed necessary or appropriate, including once Plaintiff C.D.’s identity is disclosed."
Spacey has denied both C.D. and Anthony's allegations.