UK court grants bail to actor Kevin Spacey on sex assault claims

Once one of Hollywood’s biggest stars appears at a London court charged with sex offences against three men.

US actor Kevin Spacey arrives at the Westminster Magistrates' Court, in London to attend the opening of his trial
US actor Kevin Spacey arrives at the Westminster Magistrates' Court, in London [Carlos Jasso/AFP]

Hollywood actor Kevin Spacey has been given unconditional bail until his plea hearing as he appeared at a London court charged with sex offences against three men.

Deputy Chief Magistrate Tan Ikram, sitting at Westminster Magistrates Court, told the 62-year-old actor on Thursday that the next hearing had been set for July 14 at Southwark Crown Court, in south London.

Spacey sat in the glass-fronted dock during the half-hour preliminary hearing, standing to give his full name – Kevin Spacey Fowler – as well as his birthdate and a London address.

Last month, prosecutors authorised the charges to be brought against the actor on four counts of sexual assault against three men, and a further charge of causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent.

Spacey has allegations related to three men, now in their 30s and 40s, in London and Gloucestershire between 2005 and 2013, including while Spacey was artistic director of The Old Vic theatre in the capital.

Once one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, who won Academy Awards for The Usual Suspects and American Beauty in the 1990s, Spacey has said he is willing to defend himself in the UK and is confident any trial will prove his innocence.

He has largely disappeared from public view since being accused of sexual misconduct five years ago.

As a United States citizen, Spacey could only be formally charged after travelling to Britain.

“While I am disappointed with their decision to move forward, I will voluntarily appear in the UK as soon as can be arranged and defend myself against these charges, which I am confident will prove my innocence,” Spacey said in a statement released to USA TV show Good Morning America after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) authorised charges against him.

In November 2017, London’s Old Vic theatre said it had received 20 separate allegations of inappropriate conduct by Spacey from 20 men who came into contact with him at the theatre, or in connection with it, between 1995 and 2013.

Spacey was artistic director at world-renowned theatre The Old Vic between 2004 and 2015.

Roberto Cavazos, an actor who worked at The Old Vic, said in 2017 that he had encounters with Spacey at the time “that verged on what you could call harassment”. It is not known if Cavazos is one of the men Spacey has been charged with assaulting.

He was dropped from the TV show House of Cards and removed from the movie All the Money in the World after the accusations of sexual misconduct came to light.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies