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Kevin Spacey accuser must identify himself if lawsuit is to go forward, judge rules

The anonymous plaintiff, known only as "C.D.," accused the Oscar winner of sexually abusing him as a teenager.
Actor Kevin Spacey arrives at the season 4 premiere screening "House of Cards" in Washington, D.C., on February 22, 2016.Nicholas Kamm / AFP via Getty Images file

A man who sued actor Kevin Spacey and accused the Oscar winner of sexually abusing him as a teenager must identify himself if his civil action is to continue, a judge ruled Monday.

The plaintiff, now in his 50s and known only as "C.D.," has 10 days to refile the lawsuit with his full name, U.S. District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan ordered.

While "C.D." and other alleged sexual abuse victims have legitimate concerns and legal right to some anonymity, Kaplan said in this case, Spacey's defense would be unfairly burdened fighting an unknown accuser.

"C.D.'s privacy interest ... does not outweigh the prejudice to Spacey and the presumption of open judicial proceedings," ruled Kaplan, a federal judge based in New York City.

The man gave extensive interviews for an article that appeared on Vulture's website in November 2017, and Kaplan said that act alone showed the accuser is comfortable with some degree of openness.

"He disclosed his identity to Vulture. Vulture in turn sought to verify aspects of C.D.'s assertions with friends and acquaintances of C.D. That necessarily would have required Vulture to identify C.D., by his true identity," Kaplan wrote.

"Thus the evidence suggests that C.D. knowingly and repeatedly took risks 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."

Reps for both Spacey and the plaintiff could not be immediately reached for comment on Tuesday.

The man is accusing Spacey of sexually abusing him in the 1980s, in a lawsuit filed in September in New York state court and later moved to federal court.

C.D. said he was 12 when he first met Spacey, now 61, in the actor's Westchester County acting class in 1981, according to the lawsuit, which seeks more than $40 million in damages.

The unidentified accuser is a co-plaintiff, along with actor Anthony Rapp, who said Spacey made a sexual advance to him when he was just 14.

In 2017, Spacey said in a statement on Twitter that he didn't remember the alleged incident involving Rapp, but he wrote: "If I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior, and I am sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him all these years."

In a subsequent response to a complaint filed last fall, his lawyer wrote: "Defendant admits he was in the audience for a production of 'Precious Sons' in approximately the late 1980s in which Plaintiff Rapp was a cast member. Defendant admits he briefly met Plaintiff Rapp on a few occasions at most, but Defendant’s interactions with him were peripheral and limited … Defendant denies he invited Plaintiff Rapp to any party at his home … Defendant denies Plaintiff Rapp attended any alleged party at Defendant’s home … Defendant denies that the alleged incident or any other wrongdoing alleged by Plaintiff Rapp occurred."

Spacey also denied similar claims made by the unidentified accuser.

He was once one of Hollywood's most celebrated actors, with Oscar wins for his work in "The Usual Suspects" and "American Beauty."

Spacey has also been nominated for 12 Emmys, most recently as the lead actor in the acclaimed Netflix series "House of Cards." Allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment prompted Netflix to sever its ties with him in 2017.