A man who says Kevin Spacey groped him in a Nantucket bar in 2016 dropped his civil lawsuit against the 59-year-old actor, his lawyer said Friday, just over a week after it was filed.
The accuser's lawyer, Mitchell Garabedian, announced in an email that the suit filed June 26 in Nantucket Superior Court has been voluntarily dismissed, according to The Associated Press. No reason was provided by either Garabedian, who said he had no further comment, or in the court filing.
According to the court filing, the suit was dismissed "with prejudice," which means it cannot be refiled.
"Because no adverse party has served an answer or motion for summary judgment in this matter, plaintiff is dismissing the civil action," it said.
Spacey still faces a criminal charge stemming from the same alleged incident. He pleaded not guilty to indecent assault and battery in January. That case could have possible repercussions from the legal development Friday, former Suffolk County prosecutor William Korman told the AP, saying that when a civil suit is dropped so quickly, it's a possible indicator that a private settlement was reached and that the accuser may ultimately stop cooperating with prosecutors.
"Any settlement could not be conditioned on a refusal to cooperate with the prosecution," Korman said. "Nevertheless, money is a great motivator for an individual not to follow through."
He added that there are many other possible reasons the accuser's suit could have been dropped.
Spacey's accuser, the son of Boston TV anchor Heather Unruh, alleged Spacey got him drunk and sexually assaulted him at the Club Car restaurant where the then-18-year-old man worked as a busboy.
The criminal case has centered on the cellphone used by the accuser the night of the alleged groping, which the defense says it needs in order to recover text messages it says will support Spacey's innocence. The judge ordered the phone turned over so Spacey's defense team could examine it.
However, the accuser, his mother and their attorney last months said they could not find the phone and Garabedian said they were working to procure backups. The judge has given them until Monday to produce the phone. If they don't, they must appear in court to testify about its whereabouts.
The civil lawsuit accused Spacey of explicit sexual behavior and infliction of mental distress. It demanded judgment in an amount to be determined by a jury, including costs, interests and attorney feeds.