Judge Lewis A. Kaplan sided with Spacey's alleged victim, and ordered the actor to produce 45 emails sent in 2017, according to court documents, obtained by Radar. The correspondence took place between the Baby Driver actor, his manager, PR people, media consultants, and his lawyers after learning Buzzfeed was publishing Rapp's accusations.
The judge ruled that Spacey's emails don't fall under attorney-client privilege, with Kaplan pointing out Spacey and his team seemed more concerned about the PR nightmare the allegations would cause rather than having the actor's lawyers take the reins on the situation.
"None is a communication between the defendant [Spacey] and his lawyers without one or more of the manager and the PR people at least copied on the email," the documents read. "Such communications are not lawyer-client communications made in confidence and/or generated for litigation."
The crisis mode email chain began on October 29, 2017, according to Radar, when "a reporter emailed one of the defendant's PR people and one of his lawyers to the effect that Buzzfeed, an Internet site, was about to run a story reporting Rapp's assertion that the defendant made a sexual advance on him in 1986 when Rapp was 14 years old."
The Rent actor, now 49, sued Spacey for sexual assault last September over an alleged incident that took place when the victim was a young boy.
The email warning Spacey's team of the Buzzfeed story "triggered" a firestorm between "the defendant, his manager, his two lawyers, and the two PR people concerning whether to respond and, if so, what to say," the judge reportedly declared.
Kaplan insisted, per the documents, Spacey's manager and PR consultants were leading the charge in assuaging the situation to save the embattled actor's image — and only kept lawyers in the loop for legal purposes.
The 52-year-old's PR team was "seeking and providing the business and reputational advice that those experts long had provided to the defendant with respect to his career," said the judge, per Radar, adding: "The lawyers were involved principally to raise the alarm if the lay advisers or the defendant proposed going down a path that might expose the defendant to, or increase already existing legal exposure."
The judge reportedly concluded the emails were not protected by attorney-client privilege because they "were not generated primarily for litigation but instead reflect a discussion of public relations strategy."