LONDON ENGLAND.-The actor Kevin Spacey, whose career was shattered by since-dropped US sexual assault allegations in 2017, “strongly” denied new sex crime charges on Thursday. Londonduring a hearing after which he was released.
With a calm and confident countenance, the 62-year-old fallen Hollywood star voluntarily appeared before Westminster Magistrates’ Court, waiting for him at the gates of a crowd of journalists, to face four charges of sexual assault on three men between 2005 and 2013.
“Mr. Spacey strongly denies any criminality in this case,” said his attorney, Patrick Gibbs.
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The prosecution acknowledged his “full cooperation” in the investigation, but requested that he surrender his passport and sleep in his London residence pending the next hearing, which the judge set for July 14 before the Southwark Crown Court, in South London.
However, the magistrate took into account that the actor had appeared voluntarily and, at the end of a half-hour hearing dedicated to procedural questions, he was released without precautionary measures.
“Where are you going to hide? She lives in the United States and is extraditable. Her family, her nine-year-old dog are in the United States,” Gibbs insisted.
“His job requires him to go to meetings, to appear at castings, to meet with directors and screenwriters,” he defended, declaring himself convinced that Spacey “will continue to appear” before the British justice system.
“You have to answer to these charges if you want to move on with your life,” he argued.
– Accusations in the wake of #MeToo –
Winner of two Oscars for “American Beauty” (1999) and “The Usual Suspects” (1995), Spacey was also the lead in the hit Netflix series “House of Cards.”
The British police launched an investigation after receiving complaints against him for alleged assaults committed, mostly, in the London neighborhood of Lambeth.
There is the famous Old Vic theater, of which Spacey was artistic director between 2004 and 2015, which had launched an internal investigation after receiving complaints from members of its staff.
Two of the charges against him refer to sexual assaults committed in March 2005 in London on the same complainant, who is now over 40 years old.
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Another sexual assault involved a second complainant in August 2008, now in his thirties, and involves penetrative sexual activity without his consent.
The actor is accused of a fourth sexual assault in April 2013 in Gloucestershire, south-west England, on a third man, also in his 30s.
The wave of accusations that destroyed his successful career corresponded with the emergence of the #MeToo movement, which was born in 2017 from the case of the almighty American film producer Harvey Weinstein.
– Shy return to the movies –
Spacey had been the subject of several complaints in the United States for sexual harassment and assault in 2017.
He was initially charged in the state of Massachusetts with having put his hands on the sex of an 18-year-old boy in a bar, after getting him drunk, in July 2016. These charges were dropped in 2019.
Spacey’s last appearance on the screen dates back to 2018, with the premiere of the film “Billionaire Boys Club”.
He was fired from “House of Cards” and was left out of a Ridley Scott film, “All the Money in the World,” in which he was replaced by Canadian actor Christopher Plummer.
In November 2021, he was ordered to pay $31 million to MRC, the production company of “House of Cards”, as compensation for the loss of income attributed to his departure from that successful series of political intrigues in Washington, in which gave life to the unscrupulous president Frank Underwood.
However, he made a timid return to the cinema in June 2021 with the shooting in the Italian city of Turin of a feature film directed by the Italian Franco Nero and entitled “L’uomo che disegno Dio” (The man who draws God) where , according to the producer, plays a secondary character.