Kevin Spacey Denies Sexual Assault Charges During U.K. Trial

Kevin Spacey told a British jury on Thursday that he was “a big flirt,” but he denied the accusations of four men who say he sexually assaulted them.

On trial in a London courtroom, Mr. Spacey said that one of the complainant’s allegations were “madness,” and that another’s conflicted with his own recollection of gentle romantic encounters. Mr. Spacey said he had consensual oral sex with a third complainant.

The actor said he may have made a clumsy pass at a fourth complainant, though he had little memory of the event.

Two weeks into a sexual assault trial in London against the Oscar- and Tony Award-winning actor, Mr. Spacey’s testimony on Thursday was the first time that the jury heard from him directly.

Mr. Spacey, 63, has pleaded not guilty to 12 charges relating to incidents that the prosecution says involved four men and occurred from 2001 to 2013. For most of that time, Mr. Spacey was the artistic director of the Old Vic theater in London.

Sitting at the front of the courtroom and facing the jury, Mr. Spacey — wearing a gray suit and light blue tie — was mostly calm, and occasionally joked with his legal representative, Patrick Gibbs. In his evidence, he occasionally mentioned acting stars including Judi Dench and Val Kilmer. But toward the end of his roughly three-hour testimony, Mr. Spacey became tearful as he spoke about the aftermath of earlier allegations in the United States.

The actor told the jury that in 2017 his “world exploded” after BuzzFeed News published the actor Anthony Rapp’s allegations that, in 1986, Mr. Spacey put him onto a bed and laid on top of him. After that article appeared, “there was a rush to judgment,” Mr. Spacey said. He lost his reputation, his work and much of his income, he added, and said he still “owed money.”

Mr. Spacey told the jury that he was cleared of those claims in an American civil case.

Opening the trial last month, Christine Agnew, a British prosecutor, told the jury that Mr. Spacey was “a sexual bully” who “delights in making others feel powerless and uncomfortable.” He had repeatedly groped men, Ms. Agnew said. On one occasion, Ms. Agnew added, Mr. Spacey gave a man oral sex without that man’s consent.

In the days after Ms. Agnew’s opening speech on June 30, the jury heard from the four anonymous complainants. The jury first watched recordings of interviews that each complainant gave to British police officers, then the accuser was cross-examined.

The first complainant said in his police interview that, in the early 2000s, Mr. Spacey touched him multiple times. On one occasion, the complainant said, he was driving with Mr. Spacey to a ball when the actor grabbed his genitals so hard that he almost veered off the road.

The claimant said in the police interview that he felt like Mr. Spacey was grooming him.

On Thursday, the opening session focused on Mr. Spacey’s recollection of those encounters, and the actor discussed his relationship with that complainant. Leaning back in his chair and sounding wistful, he said the man was “friendly and charming and flirtatious.”

The pair’s encounters gradually “became somewhat sexual,” Mr. Spacey said, adding that this most likely occurred at the actor’s own initiation. Mr. Spacey said the pair never had sex. The complainant “made it clear he didn’t want to go any further,” Mr. Spacey added, saying he respected the complainant’s boundaries.

Later, Mr. Spacey was asked about another complainant who told the police that he met Mr. Spacey at a charity event in 2005 and that Mr. Spacey made lewd comments to him. The complainant said Mr. Spacey went on to grab his genitals with such force that it felt “like a cobra” taking hold.

Mr. Spacey said those events “never happened,” and characterized the man’s account as “madness.” The actor said that he had little recollection of the charity gala, but that he would never do anything to “embarrass myself in such a way” at a public event.

Mr. Spacey’s legal representative then turned to the accusations of a third complainant, an aspiring actor. That man told the police that, one night in August 2008, he visited Mr. Spacey’s apartment and fell asleep. When he woke, he said, he discovered the actor performing oral sex on him.

Mr. Spacey said he believed he had enjoyed a “very nice and lovely” evening with the complainant. He said that the man became “awkward and fumbling” after the oral sex, and “hurriedly left,” as if he regretted the encounter. Mr. Spacey, whose voice rose in volume and speed as he discussed the incident, said that he telephoned the complainant shortly afterward to check on his welfare, as his phone records showed. The pair later exchanged text messages, Mr. Spacey said.

After a lunch break, Mr. Spacey was asked about a final complainant, who had accused the actor of groping him at a property near Oxford, England.

Mr. Spacey said that he had little memory of the event but had almost “no issue” with that man’s testimony. When his legal representative asked him if he might have made a clumsy pass at the complainant, Mr. Spacey agreed. “I’m only happy that he testified that the moment he told me that he was not interested, I stopped,” Mr. Spacey added.

After Mr. Spacey’s evidence, the court finished for the day. Mr. Spacey is scheduled to be cross-examined on Friday.


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