One of Kevin Spacey‘s accusers has died, according to a Central District of California court announcement obtained by In Touch on September 18. An anonymous massage therapist named in the lawsuit only as a “John Doe” has reportedly “recently passed” according to the man’s lawyer. The plaintiff’s attorney informed the court on September 11 as the case was ongoing, but it’s no longer clear if the legal battle will move forward. “Plaintiff’s counsel stated they intend to notify the Court with additional information at an appropriate time in the future,” the documents read.
The court case had been scheduled to begin in June 2020, with discovery to be shared by January 2020 and final pretrial conferences to take place in May 2020. In this particular case, John Doe was the only listed plaintiff. The allegations included claims that Spacey had forced Doe to touch the actor’s genitals while giving him a massage at a private residence. The massage therapist reported the incident to the Los Angeles Police Department and sued the House of Cards star for battery, assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress and false imprisonment.
Though Doe’s case represented his allegations alone, it was jointly filed with two other massage therapists who made similar accusations against Spacey. It’s unclear what bearing Doe’s death would have on those cases, though it certainly complicates his own. While a plaintiff’s heirs can sue on his behalf, they would likely have to identify themselves — and by extension, the massage therapist himself — in order to move forward with their legal battle. Without Doe to testify, they may also have a significantly weaker case that won’t stand up in court.
If the legal matter is dropped, it will be the second time Spacey avoids a lawsuit regarding sexual assault allegations. Though he was ordered in January to stay away from an accuser who claimed he had been groped by the American Beauty star in Nantucket, Massachusetts two years ago, the Hollywood Reporter revealed that case was dropped in July. According to paperwork obtained by the outlet, “the unavailability of the complaining witness” was cited as the reasoning. “My client and his family have shown an enormous amount of courage under difficult circumstances,” the plaintiff’s attorney in that case told THR. “I have no further comment at this time.”
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