Hollywood actor, Kevin Spacey has vowed to ‘establish his innocence’ over claims he sexually assaulted three men over an eight-year period on visits to Britain, a court has heard.
The Oscar-winning actor, 62, smiled as he exited a silver Mercedes and was ushered into Westminster Magistrates’ Court by two police officers and his legal team.
As he sat in the dock for the hearing, which lasted 28 minutes, he spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth.
Spacey was granted unconditional bail, meaning he is free to fly home to the US – ahead of his preliminary hearing at Southwark Crown Court on July 14.
The American actor, who starred in Netflix series House of Cards and films American Beauty and The Usual Suspects, is accused of a string of sex attacks on three men in London and Gloucestershire between 2005 and 2013 while he was artistic director of the Old Vic theatre.
Patrick Gibbs QC, defending, told the court Spacey ‘strenuously denies’ the allegations and had returned ‘voluntarily’ to the UK to ‘establish his innocence’.
The court heard Spacey went through four days of interviewing in New York and promised that if he was charged he would come to Britain to answer them.
Spacey, who was wearing glasses and dressed smartly in a blue suit, teal suede brogues and a dark patterned tie, made no comment outside the courthouse as he was rushed past a queue of other court attendees and through the entrance before passing security.
Prosecutor Natalie Dawson did not give any further details of the allegations beyond the charges, which were read out by the court’s legal advisor.
Mr. Gibbs continued: ‘Having seen the full Crown’s case, pages and pages of statements and exhibits delivered to him…he has chosen, not on bail, to come to this court today and my submission is that you can have every confidence, and the judge at Southwark can have every confidence, that he will continue to attend.
‘He needs to answer these charges if he is to proceed with his life.’
Deputy Chief Magistrate Ikram granted Spacey unconditional bail ahead of his plea and trial preparation hearing at Southwark Crown Court on 14 July.
He said: ‘I am going to send your case to the crown court sitting at Southwark. I am going to grant you unconditional bail. Every defendant has a right to unconditional bail unless the court is of the view that there is a real risk.
‘You have cooperated, I am told, and this has not been at all challenged by the Crown, with the authorities both in New York and you voluntarily attended these proceedings here today.
‘Indeed I withdrew the warrant which was issued for your arrest because it was not necessary. I am not persuaded that there is a real risk, bearing in mind all that I have heard about you, that you would fail to surrender.’
Spacey nodded and walked slowly out of the dock when he was told that he was free to leave.
The actor had been interviewed under caution by Scotland Yard in 2019 after the force launched an investigation into the claims two years earlier.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) authorised charges against him last month, but American Spacey could only be formally charged after travelling to the UK earlier this week.
Mr. Ikram withdrew an arrest warrant issued weeks ago after the court heard that Spacey arrived in London on Monday to receive a postal requisition.
The charges are: two counts of sexual assault on a man, who is now in his 40s, in March 2005 in London; sexual assault on a man, who is now in his 30s, and causing him to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent, in August 2008 in London; sexual assault on a man, who is now in his 30s, in April 2013 in Gloucestershire.
Rosemary Ainslie, head of the CPS Special Crime Division, said last month when the decision to charge was announced: ‘The CPS has authorised criminal charges against Kevin Spacey, 62, for four counts of sexual assault against three men.
‘He has also been charged with causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent.
‘The charges follow a review of the evidence gathered by the Metropolitan Police in in its investigation.
‘It is not a finding of fact, which can only be made by a court, but rather an assessment of what it might be possible to prove to a court, in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors.’
The alleged attacks are said to have take place while Spacey was artistic director at the Old Vic between 2004 and 2015.
The first two charges of sexual assault allege that on March 20, 2005 ‘within the jurisdiction of The Central Criminal Court he intentionally touched a man aged 16 or over and that touching was sexual when he did not consent and you did not reasonably believe that he was consenting’.
The third sexual assault charge alleges that between August 1, 2008 and August 31, 2008 ‘within the jurisdiction of The Central Criminal Court he intentionally touched a man aged 16 or over and that touching was sexual when he did not consent and you did not reasonably believe that he was consenting’.
The fourth charge against Spacey, of causing a male 13 or over to engage in penetrative sexual activity alleges that between August 1, 2008 and August 31, 2008 ‘within the jurisdiction of The Central Criminal Court with intent caused a man aged 16 or over to engage in sexual activity involving the penetration of his mouth with a person’s penis when he did not consent and you did not reasonably believe that he was consenting’.
The fifth charge of sexual assault on a male on April 1, 2013 ‘within the jurisdiction of The Central Criminal Court intentionally touched a man aged 16 or over and that touching was sexual when he did not consent and you did not reasonably believe that he was consenting’.