LONDON | American actor Kevin Spacey on Thursday "vigorously" denied accusations of sexual assault against three men in the United Kingdom, during his appearance in a London court which left him free until a next hearing in July.
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The 62-year-old 'House of Cards' star, whose career had been brought to a halt by a series of accusations since the Weinstein case, appeared calm and confident at Westminster Magistrates Court.
Upon arriving by car, Kevin Spacey was greeted by a swarm of photographers and cameras, smiling but not commenting. He left the same way after a short half-hour hearing.
Blue suit and glasses, he briefly spoke at the start of the hearing to state his identity - Kevin Spacey Fowler -, his date of birth - July 26, 1959 - and his address in London, then the charges were read to him held against him.
"Mr. Spacey vigorously denies any foul play in this case,” said his lawyer, Patrick Gibbs. “He must answer these charges to move on with his life,” he added.
Noting that he had come forward voluntarily, Judge Tan Ikram decided to leave him free until a next hearing on July 14 at Southwark Court in London.
Despite his “full cooperation” with the investigation, the prosecution had requested that he be released on parole with an obligation to remain in London but his defense argued that the comedian lives in the United States, where he has family. family as well as a nine-year-old dog.
This brief hearing, devoted to procedural issues, launched what promises to be a long legal battle.
Kevin Spacey is being prosecuted for four sexual assaults on three men, whose names have not been made public, between March 2005 and April 2013.
He is also accused of forcing one of them into penetrative sexual activity without their consent, a charge that is distinct from rape (which involves penetration with a penis) in English law.
Some facts were allegedly committed in the Lambeth district of London, where the Old Vic theater is located, of which he was artistic director between 2004 and 2015.
After the green light given by the British prosecutor's office to prosecution, the actor said he was "disappointed" but announced his intention to appear before British justice to "prove his innocence".
Landed from Netflix
These accusations, following others in the United States, had been made in the wake of the movement
They had serious consequences on the career and reputation of the two-time Oscar-winning actor (for “American Beauty” and “Usual Suspects”). Evolving on the boards before being devoted to the cinema, he had been landed by Netflix from the hit series “House of Cards” where he played the main character.
His big return to the cinema - in the film "L'uomo Che Disegno Dio" (The man who draws God) - was however 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 having, in July 2016, got his hands on the sex of an 18-year-old young man employed in a bar, after having made him drink.
But the charges were dropped in July 2019.
In late May, he appeared before a New York judge for a procedural hearing in a civil suit brought by actor Anthony Rapp, who accused him of making sexual advances to her when he was teenager. Kevin Spacey had denied and the action was dropped in criminal proceedings.