The man known as “John Doe” who accused Kevin Spacey of sexual assault has died before the case could go to trial

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Kayleigh Dray
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According to new court documents filed this week, the anonymous individual known only as “John Doe” who accused actor Kevin Spacey of sexual assault in 2018, has passed away before the case could go to trial. 

UPDATED ON 19 SEPTEMBER 2019: The massage therapist who accused actor Kevin Spacey of sexual assault has died before the case could go to trial. 

According to court documents filed by Spacey’s attorneys on Tuesday 18 September, the anonymous individual, known only to the public under the pseudonym “John Doe”, passed away “recently.” The notice of death also states that Doe’s counsel contacted Spacey’s attorneys on 11 September to inform them of his death.

“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,” Doe’s attorney, Genie Harrison, said in a statement.

The ongoing trial dates back to September 2018, when Doe filed a lawsuit in California accusing Spacey of allegedly forcing him to touch Spacey’s genitals twice and forcibly attempted to kiss him during a massage in October 2016. 

Doe sued the Oscar-winning actor for sexual battery, gender violence, battery, assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress and false imprisonment. Spacey denied all the allegations.

By filing a notice of death, Spacey’s legal team have triggered a 90-day countdown for an estate to be substituted for Doe, a move Harrison claimed was “undignified, insensitive and inappropriate”.

“Filing the notice yesterday was unnecessary and contemptible,” she said in a statement. “I’m not surprised, however, that Spacey prematurely filed the notice in an attempt to gain the advantage of a ticking clock.”

Spacey is still facing multiple investigations into allegations of sexual misconduct. 

Kevin Spacey was a major Hollywood star before the sexual misconduct scandal

AS REPORTED ON 4 JULY 2018: According to reports from the BBC, London’s Metropolitan Police is investigating three more allegations of sexual assault which have been made against actor Kevin Spacey.

The BBC says it understands two of the allegations are said to have taken place in Westminster in 1996 and the London borough of Lambeth in 2008, with the third allegedly taking place in Gloucester in 2013.

The new allegations bring the number of claims being investigated against Spacey by London police to six: five allegations of sexual assault and one of assault. 

In 2017, police began investigations into an allegation of a 2008 assault in Lambeth and two allegations of sexual assault in 2005, one in Westminster and one in Lambeth. 

Spacey has also faced police investigations at home in the US, but has not been charged in either country as of yet.

Spacey has faced over 30 sexual assault and misconduct allegations since late 2017. Earlier this year, eight employees who work on (or used to work on) his show, House of Cards, came forward to CNN, describing Spacey’s behaviour – which they say included groping and lewd comments directed, typically, at young, male staffers – as “predatory.”

One production assistant, who has chosen to remain anonymous, also accused Spacey of assaulting him during one of the show’s earlier seasons.

The alleged incident occurred when the staffer was tasked with picking Spacey up and driving him to set. At some point during the journey, the actor allegedly put his hands down the production assistant’s pants in a “non-consensual” act.

“I was in a state of shock,” he told CNN. “He was a man in a very powerful position on the show and I was someone very low on the totem pole and on the food chain there.”

The production assistant did not tell any of his managers at the time, he said: however, he had previously told a supervisor that Spacey was sexually harassing him.

“I have no doubt that this type of predatory behaviour was routine for him and that my experience was one of many and that Kevin had few if any qualms about exploiting his status and position,” the staffer said.

“It was a toxic environment for young men who had to interact with him at all in the crew, cast, background actors.”

Filmmaker Tony Montana also claimed that Spacey “forcefully” grabbed his crotch in 2003, while Roberto Cavazos, who acted in several plays at the Old Vic Theatre in London while Spacey was artistic director, claims the star “routinely preyed” on young male actors.

These allegations follow Anthony Rapp’s claim that the House of Cards star tried to “seduce” him when he was 14 years old.

Kevin Spacey said he has no recollection of that encounter, and was “beyond horrified”. 

“I honestly do not remember the encounter, it would have been over 30 years ago,” Spacey tweeted of Rapp’s allegations at the time.

“But if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behaviour and I am sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him all those years.”

Spacey’s publicist later confirmed that the veteran actor was seeking help after more men have come forward accusing him of sexual misconduct.

“Kevin Spacey is taking the time necessary to seek evaluation and treatment,” a statement read

The type of help which Spacey was seeking, however, was not specified.

Rape Crisis England and Wales works towards the elimination of sexual violence. If you’ve been affected by the issues raised in this story, you can access more information on their website or by calling the National Rape Crisis Helpline on 0808 802 9999. 

Images: Rex Features


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.