Kevin Spacey‘s U.K. sexual assault trial is underway, and on Monday, the court heard testimony from one of the actor’s accusers.
A man, who has not been publicly identified, claimed Spacey groped him “a good dozen times” and made unwanted advances, according to Variety. Spacey allegedly touched the person’s inner thighs and genitals over his clothing. In a pre-recorded police interview, the man compared Spacey to his character in David Fincher’s thriller Se7en, where he played a serial killer.
“His character in Se7en, he’s a bit like that,” the man said. “A bit creepy. Maybe not quite as bad.”
Spacey is facing 12 charges related to incidents involving four men between 2001 and 2013. This alleged victim said the incidents occurred over the span of a “few years.” During opening remarks on Friday, the actor was called a “sexual bully” by prosecutor Christine Agnew. The trial is expected to last four weeks.
The Oscar-winning actor —referred to in London’s Southwark Crown Court by his legal name, “Kevin Spacey Fowler” — “abused the power and influence that his reputation and fame afforded him” to prey on men, Agnew told the jury of nine men and three women. Spacey took “who he wanted, when he wanted,” claiming his “preferred method” of assault was to “aggressively grab other men in the crotch.” She said the star “delights in making others feel powerless and uncomfortable.”
Spacey’s defense lawyer Patrick Gibbs kept his remarks brief, making it clear the American Beauty and House of Cards actor, 63, denies all allegations of nonconsensual activity. He told jurors they will hear half truths, “deliberate exaggerations” and “damned lies” as the case plays out.
Trial highlights to date:
On Monday, Spacey’s accuser claimed the actor showered him with questions and compliments upon meeting through London’s Old Vic theater. Spacey worked there as the artistic director. “He was almost, right from the get-go, grooming me,” the man told authorities. Eventually, their interactions purportedly turned physical.
“He’d grab my hand and put my hand on his privates,” the accuser said. “I used to call him a weirdo. I used to say ‘You’re a f***ing weirdo.’ He used to laugh about it, he used to find it funny… he wasn’t embarrassed.”
Spacey’s alleged victim called the actor “an angry person,” but “charming” at times. The man said he did not go to police sooner as he was “embarrassed.” He claimed the alleged abuse had caused him to suffer anxiety, stress and depression.
The trial began on Wednesday, June 28 with the official selection of the jury. Judge Mark Wall told the 12 jurors and two alternates that the case has “attracted a lot of media coverage” and advised them to “rely on what you see and hear in this courtroom” and not use “your computer to research things” or read about the case.
Who are Spacey’s accusers and what are the charges?
Spacey pleaded not guilty to 12 charges — including sexual assault, indecent assault and one charge of causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent — made by four unidentified men, who are now in their 30s and 40s. Under British law, it’s illegal to identify accusers in sexual assault cases or to publish information that may lead them to be identified.
During opening statements, Agnew outlined the allegations from the accusers, none of whom knew each other . She said three of the men told police that Spacey grabbed their crotch; one said Spacey repeatedly put the man’s hands onto his own crotch. Agnew said: “None of the men wanted to be touched by Kevin Spacey Fowler in a sexual way but he doesn’t seem to have cared very much for their feelings. He did what he wanted to do for his own personal sexual gratification.”
One accuser claimed he “fell asleep or passed out” while having a drink with Spacey at Spacey’s apartment and woke up to find the actor had allegedly unzipped his pants and was performing oral sex on him. He claimed he said no and Spacey continued, so he pushed him off. Agnew claimed Spacey told the man not to tell anyone what happened; the man left and broke down in tears at a bus stop.
Another accuser, who was about 28 at the time, said he was seated near Spacey at Haymarket Theatre when the star asked him if they had previously “f***ed.” The “shocked” plaintiff initially ignored the remarks, but Spacey then put his hand on his leg. He said the assault took place later backstage when Spacey “grabbed [his] penis with such force it was painful.” When the person told Spacey to stop, the star allegedly laughed and said the man’s anger was a turn on.
Another accuser was a driver, aged between 30 and 34 at the time, for Spacey. He claimed he experienced “unwanted touching” by the actor, who would sit in the front seat. The contact became more aggressive with Spacey’s later grabbing and groping the man.
The final accuser said Spacey kissed his neck twice and grabbed his crotch when they were in a pub near Oxford in 2013. He claimed he pushed Spacey off him and against a wall.
The time period of the alleged assaults coincides with when Spacey served as artistic director of London’s historic Old Vic theater, from 2004 to 2015. His tenure later resulted in 20 complaints of alleged “inappropriate behavior” by the actor, who starred in many of the theater’s productions. The star maintains residences in London and the U.S.
Many allegations against Spacey amid #MeToo
The Unusual Suspect’s long-running Hollywood career came to a halt in 2017 when Star Trek: Discovery actor Anthony Rapp publicly accused him of sexual misconduct. Rapp said he was just 14 years old in 1986 when he was targeted by Spacey, then 26. Spacey claimed he did “not remember the encounter,” and used his public statement to come out as gay.
The allegation was the first of many against Spacey, who has maintained his innocence. Many include inappropriately touching and making sexual advances toward younger men, including claims by Richard Dreyfuss’s son Harry and actor Roberto Cavazos.
In 2020, Spacey was ordered to pay House of Cards production company MRC nearly $31 million for alleged sexual misconduct behind the scenes of the show. Eight employees of the Netflix show claimed they witnessed or were victims of sexual assault from Spacey. Spacey was fired from the show in 2017, leading to millions in lost profits, producers said.
In 2018, Spacey faced criminal charges of indecent assault and battery after being accused of groping an 18-year-old at a Nantucket bar two years earlier. The charges were later dropped. The accuser also dropped a civil lawsuit.
Also in 2018, a California massage therapist, who accused Spacey of sexual assault, sued the star as well, but died in 2019, bringing an end to that case.
Spacey holds out hope of reviving his career
Spacey has made just one film since all this has happened, in Italy, but he holds out hope that a not-guilty verdict in this case will get him back to work in Hollywood again.
“There are people right now who are ready to hire me the moment I am cleared of these charges in London,” Spacey told Germany’s Zeit magazine in June. “The second that happens, they’re ready to move forward.” He also said he “draws resilience” from positive fan encounters, adding, “The media have done their best to turn me into a monster, but from the people, I have seen nothing but affection.”
Editor’s note: This story was originally published on June 28, 2023.
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