Kevin Spacey tells jury of ‘romantic’ touching and consensual sex act – denying sexual assault claims | Ents & Arts News

Jul 13, 2023 | Uncategorized

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Kevin Spacey has told his trial he was “flirtatious” and “romantic” with one of his alleged sexual assault victims, and that he had a consensual sexual encounter with another – but has denied accusations of “aggressive” sexual offences.

After hearing several days of evidence from his four accusers and other prosecution witnesses, Spacey entered the witness box at Southwark Crown Court in London on Thursday to have his say for the first time.

At the end of the day, the Hollywood actor described the impact of sexual abuse allegations against him first being made public in the US in 2017, saying his “world exploded” as there was a “rush to judgement”, and that he lost “everything in a matter of days”.

Actor Kevin Spacey leaves Southwark Crown Court, London, where he is charged with three counts of indecent assault, seven counts of sexual assault, one count of causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent, and one count of causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent between 2001 and 2005. Picture date: Thursday July 13, 2023.

He became emotional, fighting back tears, as he addressed a statement he released in response – in which he also came out as gay publicly for the first time – saying he was “under a lot of pressure” to say something and hoped this would be a “positive” in the wake of the “terrible accusation”.

Read the latest developments from court

The 63-year-old, who is best known for films including The Usual Suspects and American Beauty, as well as political drama House Of Cards, has pleaded not guilty to sexual offence charges relating to four men, which are alleged to have happened in the UK between 2001 and 2013.

Giving evidence, Spacey told jurors he was a “big flirt” – and said when he learned the first complainant had made claims against him, he felt “crushed” that he would “stab me in the back”.

Addressing a separate allegation by another alleged victim, Spacey denied drugging him and said they had a “lovely evening” and a consensual sexual encounter, before the man became “awkward” and “hurriedly” left his flat in London.

First complainant was ‘funny and charming and flirtatious’ – Spacey

The first alleged victim, a driver, has accused the star of sexually assaulting him several times during the early 2000s – including one occasion when he claims Spacey grabbed him “so hard I almost came off the road”.

This “never happened”, Spacey told the court – adding: “I was not on a suicide mission.”

Describing their encounters, the actor said he touched the complainant in “romantic” ways and that they had “a very fun time” together. “He was a lads’ lad,” the star told the court. “He was funny and charming and flirtatious.”

Kevin Spacey outside court

Jurors heard that Spacey and the alleged victim did not have sex because the man “made it clear that he did not want to go any further… and you just respect how far someone wants to go”.

Answering questions from his defence barrister Patrick Gibbs, the star accepted touching the complainant but said: “It did not happen in a violent, aggressive, painful way. It was gentle… and it was in my mind romantic.”

Asked by Mr Gibbs if there was any reluctance from the alleged victim to his advances, Spacey said: “No. The only thing he made clear is he did not want to go any further than we were going and I respected that.”

The man said things such as “this is new for me”, Spacey told the court, “so I think that he may have been surprised by his reaction”.

‘We had a consensual… very nice and lovely evening’

Responding to allegations made by a former aspiring actor – which have led to the most serious charge, of causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity – Spacey said he believed they shared an “intimate moment”.

Earlier in the trial, the complainant accused Spacey of drugging him and said he woke to find the actor performing a sex act on him.

“We had had a sexual encounter after which I had gone to the bathroom and I came back from the bathroom and it was like… something had changed,” Spacey told the court.

“The person that I had this intimate moment with was suddenly awkward and fumbling… and I don’t want to say ran out… but hurriedly left. And it felt very odd.”

The man’s behaviour “concerned” him, the actor told the court. He said he rang him after he left to check he was okay.

Spacey denied drugging the man and performing a sex act on him while he was asleep, saying this allegation “makes no sense”.

He told the court. “We had a consensual and, I believe, a very nice and lovely evening. If he regretted it immediately I don’t know, I can’t speak for him, but something was weird – it was strange.”

West End event assault claim ‘madness’

Actor Kevin Spacey arrives at Southwark Crown Court, London, where he is charged with three counts of indecent assault, seven counts of sexual assault, one count of causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent and one count of causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent between 2001 and 2005. Picture date: Thursday July 13, 2023.

Allegations made by a man who claims Spacey assaulted him during an event at a West End theatre in the mid-2000s were also put to the actor – who described them as “madness”.

The alleged victim has accused the actor of subjecting him to a “barrage of vile” and “hardcore” comments before grabbing his crotch “like a cobra” striking.

“I never said any of the things that he claims I said to him, and wouldn’t – and never have to anyone in my life,” Spacey told the court.

“It never happened,” he said of the alleged incident, and told jurors he did not recognise the man “at all”.

Spacey also told the court that he “primarily” has no issue with the allegation made by a man who claims the actor kissed his neck and grabbed his crotch at a property he was staying at in the Cotswolds in the early 2010s.

The actor told jurors he did not remember doing this but accepts that he might have done. “We all had some drinks…I made a pass and I’m only happy that he testified that the moment he told me he was not interested, I stopped,” he told the court.

Spacey addresses coming out statement in 2017

Towards the end of his evidence, Spacey told jurors he had been looking to come out as gay for two years before he did – in a statement released in response to an allegation of an unwanted sexual advance made by actor Anthony Rapp in the US.

He acknowledged this statement “upset” members of the LGBTQ+ community.

“I was under a lot of pressure that I had to say something… if I didn’t it was going to be a nightmare, a PR nightmare,” he told the court.

“Members of the LGBTQ+ community were upset because I came out while I was responding to an accusation… now I understand why it was read that way but I hadn’t put those two things together.”

Spacey continued: “I thought in the face of this terrible accusation maybe I can do something at least positive. The gay community had been pressuring me for a very long time about coming out.”

The allegations made by actor Anthony Rapp against Spacey were found not proven in October 2022.

“Maybe now that the allegation against Mr Anthony Rapp has been proven to be false, maybe people will read [the statement] with a little bit more understanding now,” Spacey said.

The actor is appearing in court under his full name, Kevin Spacey Fowler, and has pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual assault and indecent assault, one charge of causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent, and one charge of causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity, in relation to the four men.

The trial continues.

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