by Ana Chevalier
Kevin Spacey Trial Update—Anthony Rapp, Justin Dawes
In November 1988, Justin Dawes was 16 years old, the legal age of consent in Connecticut. Interested in acting, Dawes was working as a volunteer usher at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut, where 29-year-old Kevin Spacey was appearing in the Dennis McIntyre play National Anthems.
Dawes says he met Spacey following one of the show’s performances. He alleges Spacey invited him and his adult friend, who was employed as an assistant house manager at the theatre, to the apartment Spacey had rented for the run of the play.
Dawes: Spacey Behavior Cringey But Benign
Dawes alleges Spacey acted in a “cringey” but “benign” way toward his guests at the apartment, offering them drinks while a television playing undefined “pornography” droned on in the background.
“I thought it was mildly uncomfortable. I did not, you know, feel threatened,” Dawes said, describing the event in a recent court deposition, leading up to Anthony Rapp, Kevin Spacey trial (Anthony Rapp filed a civil lawsuit against Spacey for an alleged sexual assault more than 35 years ago).
Dawes’s allegations in BuzzFeed came three days after Anthony Rapp sat down with long-time pal Adam Vary, listicle writer, to make his 31-year-old-accusation against the House of Cards actor.
BuzzFeed Didn’t Speak With Only Corroborating Witness To Kevin Spacey Allegation
It’s interesting to note that, as it did with its initial Anthony Rapp allegation story against Spacey, BuzzFeed ran Dawes’ accusations without any verifiable proof. BuzzFeed failed to speak with the only other person Dawes claims was present. [“The friend who was present could not be reached for comment.” BuzzFeed]
Dawes claims the three men “all had a drink,” adding it was “really awkward.” Dawes, who is married with children, currently living in Brazil, and self-identifies as straight, added it was not “intimidating or pushy” and that Spacey didn’t discuss anything sexual in nature during his time at the apartment.
It’s also worth noting that at no point does Dawes allege Spacey attempted to assault him sexually, or that sexual abuse occurred during the encounter. Instead, Dawes clarifies that the only physical contact he had with Spacey is when the actor briefly placed his hand on Dawes’s leg, a couple of inches above his knee, for “for 30-45 seconds”—something he failed to mention during the BuzzFeed interview. (He has included the newly remembered contact in recent court testimony.)
When Dawes and his friend said they were leaving, he claims Spacey’s replied,” ‘Oh what? Really? I thought you guys were going to hang out.’ And we said, ‘No, no. We gotta go.'” Dawes says they left without obstruction or attempted intervention from Spacey and that he hasn’t interacted with Spacey since.
That is, until now.
Justin Dawes reached out to lawyers representing Anthony Rapp to testify under oath in Rapp’s case against Spacey, currently ramping up in the Southern District of New York.
Dawes wasn’t subpoenaed.
Dawes wasn’t called as a witness.
Dawes wasn’t part of the Anthony Rapp, Kevin Spacey trial.
Dawes voluntarily took steps to insert himself into what is shaping up to be one of the most anticipated entertainment trials in recent history.
During his initial deposition for the trial, Dawes refused to provide the name of the friend who accompanied him to Spacey’s apartment on that day in November 1988—despite Dawes’s assertions that the unnamed friend will corroborate his story.
Dawes’ unwillingness to provide the name of his friend to the court (something he had already provided to BuzzFeed and attorneys representing Anthony Rapp) was challenged by attorneys representing Spacey.
Recent court documents show that Justin Dawes has been ordered to sit for a second deposition and answer additional questions about his anonymous friend’s identity.
Significant Win For Kevin Spacey Trial Defense Team
Repeatedly, since Anthony Rapp (Dazed and Confused) first accused Spacey in 2017, a list of allegations has surfaced against Spacey— almost all of them anonymous.
Rapp’s lawsuit against Spacey was initially brought forward anonymously by a co-complainant. (When the court ordered the case could not proceed anonymously, Rapp’s co-complainant walked away.)
Anonymous claims are slippery, especially when the accused is enduring a trial by public opinion. Moreover, anonymous claims are ephemeral shapeshifters that can morph into whatever you want—or need—them to be.
If you can’t investigate, then you can’t find anonymous claims “uncredible.” (An independent arbitrator in the MRC–House of Cards-Kevin Spacey contract battle, recently found the only witness who made an allegation of sexual assault against Spacey during his time on Netflix’s hit series was “uncredible.”)
The right to face our accusers isn’t a trending hashtag or something to be gaslighted away—it’s our sixth amendment right. It’s part of the fabric that strives to make justice equally available to anyone, regardless of their lack—or abundance—of success.
The sixth amendment also guarantees the right to trial by an impartial jury.
Can Kevin Spacey get an impartial jury in the trial of public opinion?
That’s an argument for another day.
As part of The Independent Observer’s commitment to this story, we will be providing ongoing coverage of Rapp’s lawsuit against Kevin Spacey, sexual assault allegations, production company arbitration, and where is Kevin Spacey now.
SPECIAL TO THE INDEPENDENT OBSERVER
Ana Chevalier (www.anachevalier.com, @TheOfficialAnaC) is an award-winning author, former journalist, and playwright. Her work has appeared in global publications including Toronto Star, Baltimore Sun, The Independent (UK), The Telegraph (UK), The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Jerusalem Post, Forbes, YahooNews, and many more. Ana is a former child-actor/ entertainer, winning multiple awards for her work. She has worked with Emmy, Golden Globe, Oscar, and Tony award winners (EGOT!) and Grand Ole Opry members on a variety of projects on and off-stage.