The affair rocked Hollywood: Kevin Spacey, the American star with two Oscars, was due to appear in a London court on Thursday for sexual assault from his time as artistic director of a theater in the British capital.
• Also read: Kevin Spacey, accused of sexual assault, will appear in London on Thursday
• Also read: Harvey Weinstein faces sexual assault charges in the UK
Determined to maintain his innocence, the House of Cards star, whose career has been cut short by a spate of allegations since the Weinstein affair, is expected at Westminster Magistrates Court from 10am (9am GMT).
This hearing should be brief and focus on procedural issues, which promises a lengthy legal battle.
The 62-year-old actor is charged with four sexually assaulting three men between March 2005 and April 2013, whose names have not been released. He is also accused of forcing one of them to engage in penetrative sexual activity without their consent.
He was formally charged on Monday after British prosecutors gave the green light to those charges in late May.
Kevin Spacey said he was “disappointed” but said he would appear in British courts.
“I will defend myself against these allegations and I am sure I will prove my innocence,” he added in a statement aired on ABC’s Good Morning America.
Two charges relate to sexual assaults in London in March 2005 against the same applicant, who is now in his forties.
Another sexual assault concerns a second applicant, in his 30s, in August 2008, who also alleges that he had forced him into penetrative sexual activity without his consent.
Another alleged sexual assault allegedly targeted a third complainant, also in his 30s, in April 2013 in Gloucestershire (south-west England).
Landed by Netflix
These allegations against Kevin Spacey, following others in the United States, were made in the wake of the Weinstein scandal, named for the American film producer who was the target of numerous allegations of harassment and sexual assault and uncovered by the New York Times in the fall of 2017 was and The New Yorker.
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.
Scotland Yard launched an inquiry after receiving complaints of sexual assault against the actor, some allegedly perpetrated in London’s Lambeth area, home to the Old Vic Theater of which he was artistic director between 2004 and 2015.
In his country, Kevin Spacey had been charged with indecent assault and sexual assault in the state of Massachusetts on the east coast.
However, the charges were dropped in July 2019. 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.
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.