An anonymous massage therapist who accused actor Kevin Spacey of sexual assault has died, according to a court filing.
The masseur sued Spacey in September 2018, claiming he was forced by the actor to touch Spacey’s genitals.
The massage therapist, identified in court records only as “John Doe,” has since died, though it’s unclear how.
On Tuesday, Spacey’s lawyers filed a “notice of statement noting plaintiff’s death” in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
The massage therapist who in a lawsuit claimed to have been sexually assaulted by Kevin Spacey has died. No further details. pic.twitter.com/lRVikknHaJ
— Eriq Gardner (@eriqgardner) September 18, 2019
“No further information or details have been given to Mr. Fowler’s counsel, but Plaintiff’s counsel stated they intended to notify the Court with additional information at an appropriate time in the future,” the notice said, referring to Spacey by his real name, Kevin Fowler, Page Six reported.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the anonymous plaintiff’s lawsuit could continue via his heirs.
However, the final call regarding whether or not that’s even possible could come down to a judge’s decision.
“To show standing to sue, the heirs would likely have to identify the deceased accuser after getting a green light to administer his estate in probate court,” The Hollywood Reporter reported.
It’s also worth noting that with the main witness to the alleged sexual assault dead, it would be difficult to litigate the case. Moreover, a judge might not think there’s any good reason to protect the plaintiff’s privacy, considering he’s dead.
Spacey’s accuser claimed in his lawsuit last year that he was summoned in October 2016 to a Malibu residence to give the “House of Cards” star a massage.
Spacey allegedly took the man to an upstairs room and locked the door, then grabbed his hand and tried to bring his hand to Spacey’s testicles.
“Plaintiff initially gave Spacey the benefit of the doubt and assumed he was directing plaintiff to massage the pain in his groin area,” the suit said, according to the New York Daily News.
The suit claims the massage therapist tried to resume the massage in a “nonsexual, professional manner.”
But Spacey allegedly wasn’t having it.
“Spacey again grabbed plaintiff’s hand, but this time forced plaintiff’s hand to rub his penis, scrotum and testicles,” the suit said.
In April, Spacey asked the court to either force the plaintiff to reveal his identity or dismiss the lawsuit.
U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Lew did neither of those things.
“Plaintiff’s vulnerability to humiliation, harassment, and threats, is further exacerbated by the nature of Defendant’s status as a high-profile celebrity and the media attention that comes with it,” Lew wrote in May.
“The Court finds that anonymity is necessary to protect Plaintiff’s privacy and to protect against any further trauma.”
Eventually, he said, the plaintiff would have to reveal himself.
“The Court finds that the need for Plaintiff’s anonymity outweighs the prejudice to Defendant and the public’s interest in knowing his identity at this stage,” Lew wrote.
“However, the Court acknowledges that maintaining anonymity throughout the entirety of this case would prevent a just resolution, as Defendant will need to know Plaintiff’s identity at some point either during discovery or before this case proceeds to trial.”
Spacey, meanwhile, has been hit with allegations of sexual assault from multiple men.
He faced criminal charges stemming from one alleged incident, but the case was dropped in July after the accuser, who claimed Spacey groped him at a bar, stopped cooperating with prosecutors.
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