LONDON | American actor Kevin Spacey on Thursday “vehemently” denied sexual assault allegations against three men in the UK during his appearance before a London court, which released him pending a next hearing in July.
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The 62-year-old ‘House of Cards’ star, whose career has been paralyzed by a string of allegations since the Weinstein case, appeared calm and confident in front of Westminster Magistrates Court.
Arriving by car, Kevin Spacey was greeted by a bevy of photographers and cameras, who smiled but made no comment. He left the same way after a short hearing of half an hour.
Blue suit and glasses, he spoke briefly at the beginning of the hearing to state his identity – Kevin Spacey Fowler – his date of birth – 26 July 1959 – and his address in London, then the charges against him were read to him.
“Mr. Spacey strenuously denies any foul play in this case,” his attorney Patrick Gibbs said. “He must face these allegations in order to move on with his life,” he added.
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Judge Tan Ikram found he had volunteered and decided to release him pending a next hearing on July 14 at Southwark Court in London.
Despite his “complete cooperation” with the investigation, prosecutors had requested his parole with an obligation to remain in London, but his defense argued that the comedian lives in the United States, where he has family and a nine-year-old dog.
That brief hearing, which addressed procedural issues, ushered in a process that promises to be a lengthy legal battle.
Kevin Spacey is being prosecuted for four sexual assaults on three men whose names were not released between March 2005 and April 2013.
He is also accused of forcing one of them to engage in penetrative sexual activity without their consent, a charge distinct from rape (which involves penetration with a penis) under English law.
Some facts were allegedly committed in the Lambeth area of London, home to the Old Vic Theater of which he was Artistic Director between 2004 and 2015.
After British prosecutors gave the green light to the charges, the actor said he was “disappointed” but said he intends to appear in British courts to “prove his innocence”.
Landed by Netflix
These allegations, following others in the United States, were made in the wake of the #MeToo movement and the Weinstein scandal, named after the American film producer who was the target of numerous allegations of harassment and sexual assault, uncovered in the fall of 2017.
They had serious consequences for the career and reputation of the two-time Academy Award winner (for “American Beauty” and “Usual Suspects”). Developing on the boards before pursuing cinema, he had landed on Netflix from the hit series House of Cards, in which he played the main character.
However, his big return to cinema – in the film L’uomo Che Disegno Dio (The Man Who Draws God) – was announced last year.
In his country, Kevin Spacey had been charged with indecent assault and sexual assault in the state of Massachusetts on the east coast. He was accused of getting his hands on the sex of an 18-year-old young man employed at a bar in July 2016 after making him drink.
However, the charges were dropped in July 2019.
In late May, he appeared before a New York judge for a hearing in a civil suit brought by actor Anthony Rapp, who accused him of making sexual advances to her as a teenager. Kevin Spacey had denied and dropped the lawsuit in criminal proceedings.