Los Angeles: A federal US judge has allowed a massage therapist to remain anonymous as he pursues a sexual assault lawsuit against disgraced actor Kevin Spacey.
The therapist filed a suit in October 2018, alleging that the actor tried to kiss him and forced him to grab his private parts during a session in Malibu in 2016. Spacey also faces a criminal charge in Nantucket, in which he is accused of groping a busboy. He has pleaded not guilty, reports variety.com.
In the civil case, Spacey's attorneys had asked Judge Ronald Lew to dismiss the suit because the plaintiff filed anonymously. The therapist's attorneys argued that disclosing his name could result in loss of business and expose him to potential physical harm.
In his ruling, Lew held that courts have allowed sexual assault victims to remain anonymous to protect their privacy.
"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.
"The Court finds that anonymity is necessary to protect Plaintiff's privacy and to protect against any further trauma," Lew wrote.
He said he may revisit the issue if the anonymity prevents Spacey's lawyers from conducting full discovery in the case.
The case was originally filed in state court in Los Angeles, but Spacey's attorneys moved it to federal court because Spacey lives in Maryland. The plaintiff's attorneys sought to move the case back to state court, but Lew rejected that request.