trial on sexual assault accusations begins: What we know

Actor Kevin Spacey leaves Southwark Crown Court in London, Wednesday, June 28, 2023. Spacey is going on trial on charges he sexually assaulted four men as long as two decades ago. The double-Oscar winner faces a dozen charges as his trial begins Wednesday at Southwark Crown Court. Spacey pleads not guilty to all charges .(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Kevin Spacey, seen arriving to court in London on Wednesday, has said that this trial is pivotal when it comes to reviving his career. (Photo: AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Kevin Spacey’s legal troubles continue. On Wednesday morning, the American Beauty and House of Cards actor, 63, appeared in London court for the start of a trial on sexual assault charges.

Spacey — who is facing 12 charges related to incidents involving four men, which allegedly occurred between 2001 and 2013 — arrived at Southwark Crown Court wearing a dark blue suit, light blue shirt and pink tie as a pool of photographers snapped his photo.

Inside, Spacey confirmed to Judge Mark Wall his legal name, “Kevin Spacey Fowler.” During proceedings, Wall said the start date for the trial, which is expected to last four weeks, had been pushed back until Friday. That’s because Spacey’s defense attorney Patrick Gibbs had to wrap up another case, which is expected to be finished on Thursday.

Jurors — nine men and five women — were told that the case has “attracted a lot of media coverage” and urged them to “rely on what you see and hear in this courtroom.”

A court sketch artist captured Spacey’s mood in the court room, as he sat in a large transparent box in the middle of the room. Just after noon, Spacey departed court with a smile for the onlookers outside.

This court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook shows actor Kevin Spacey appearing at Southwark Crown Court, London, Wednesday June 28, 2023. Two-time Oscar winner Kevin Spacey walked into a London courtroom Wednesday to face trial on charges of sexually assaulting four men as long as two decades ago. (Elizabeth Cook/PA via AP)
This court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook shows actor Kevin Spacey appearing at Southwark Crown Court, London, Wednesday June 28, 2023. (Photo: Elizabeth Cook/PA via AP)

The charges and his accusers

Spacey pleaded not guilty to the charges made by four unidentified men, who are now in their 30s and 40s, over a 12-year period. The 12 charges include sexual assault, indecent assault and one charge of causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent.

Spacey served as artistic director of London’s historic Old Vic theater from 2004 to 2015. His tenure later resulted in 20 testimonies of alleged “inappropriate behavior” by the actor, who starred in many of the theater’s productions. The star maintains a residence in the city.

One of several misconduct cases involving the star

Spacey’s long-running Hollywood career came to a halt in 2017 when Star Trek: Discovery actor Anthony Rapp publicly accused him of sexual misconduct. Rapp he was just 14 years old when he was targeted by Spacey, then 26. The allegations were the first of many against Spacey, who has denied the allegations.

Rapp sued Spacey in civil court in 2022, but lost.

In 2018, Spacey was charged with indecent assault and battery after being accused of groping an 18-year-old at a Nantucket bar two years earlier. The charges were later dropped. The accuser dropped a civil lawsuit.

A California massage therapist, who accused Spacey of sexual assault, sued Spacey as well, but died in 2019, bringing an end to the case.

Spacey hopes to revive career

Spacey, who has maintained his innocence regarding the claims against him, said he holds out hope that a not-guilty verdict in this case will get him back to work in Hollywood again.

“There are people right now who are ready to hire me the moment I am cleared of these charges in London,” Spacey said an interview in Germany’s Zeit magazine this month. “The second that happens, they’re ready to move forward.” He also said he “draws resilience” from positive fan encounters, adding, “The media have done their best to turn me into a monster, but from the people, I have seen nothing but affection.”

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