British justice begins the process against Kevin Spacey for four sexual assaults

A huge mass of reporters, photographers and cameramen has gathered this Thursday, at ten in the morning (eleven, Spanish peninsular time), around Kevin Spacey (62 years old). The American actor—pale blue suit, green suede shoes, dark tie—was keeping his cool when he arrived at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London. In that city he lived during the eleven years (2004-2015) that he directed the theater company The Old Vic. And there he was seen for the last time publicly, after his problems with the American justice system.

It was a preliminary hearing, in which the actor has been informed of the four accusations of sexual assault made against him by the London Metropolitan Police, plus a fifth charge involving non-consensual penetration of another man. The alleged abuses would have occurred between 2005 and 2013. Two of them, at least, in London and one in the town of Gloucestershire. The alleged victims would be three men.

During this first session, which begins the process against Spacey in the British courts, Judge Tanweer Ikram has allowed the actor to be released without bail. Only in the event that he did not appear at the next hearing, scheduled for July 14 at the Southwark Crown Court (London), would he face an arrest warrant.

Spacey has not been required, at his first appearance, to plead not guilty or not guilty. His lawyer, Patrick Gibbs, has insisted in court, however, that “the actor firmly denies any criminal activity in this case.”

Half an hour of appearance in which the actor has come to outline a half smile when the judge has addressed him as Mr. Fowler. His full name, read in the room, is Kevin Spacey Fowler. “How do you want us to address you?” the magistrate asked. “Either of the two formulas is valid”, he replied.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS, Crown Prosecution Service) from the United Kingdom announced on May 26 its decision to prosecute the actor for four crimes of sexual abuse. “Likewise, he has also been accused of forcing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without his consent. All the charges are the result of the final review of the evidence collected by the Metropolitan Police during their investigation, ”explained then Rosemary Ainslie, head of the Scotland Yard Special Crimes Division.

Theater Old Vic of London, of which Spacey was artistic director from 2004 to 2015, apologized to the citizens after revealing that he had received up to twenty complaints against the actor for inappropriate behavior. the tabloid newspaper The Sun published in September 2020 photos of Spacey cycling through the streets of London, with a wedding ring.

The star, protagonist of legendary films such as Glengary Glenn Ross, Usual Suspects, LA Confidential, American Beauty or the series House of Cardspublicly revealed in 2017 that he was gay, shortly after the actor Antony Rapp had accused him of raping him when he was 14 years old, in 1986. Spacey was then 26. At the end of a party, the actor told Star Trek Discovery to the news website buzzfeednews, Spacey jumped on his bed and tried to abuse him. It was the Weinstein case, and the movement that spawned the metoo, which encouraged Rapp to take the plunge. From that first accusation, up to thirty more men assured that they had been victims of the actor’s sexual abuse.

During the last years, some of the processes against Spacey have ended with dismissal, due to prescription of the crimes or because the accusing parties or the prosecution decided to drop the charges. Through lawsuits in civil jurisdiction, however, the actor has had to pay compensation worth several tens of millions of dollars. On July 17, 2019, the last criminal case against the actor was closed, when the anonymous masseur who accused him of sexual abuse died.

The actor’s career has been practically truncated from all these scandals. Spacey, in addition to being considered at the time one of the best interpreters of his generation, was an intense political activist who supported the causes of the American left. A personal friend of former President Bill Clinton, he came to define the politician as a “beacon of democracy.”

Spacey’s response to an industry that turned its back on him had two phases. A first of contrition in which he apologized for everything that happened and embraced his homosexuality, although he denied all the accusations until the end. And a second challenge, after the recording of the sixth and final season of House of Cards and any presence of Spacey in the promotions will be eliminated. In Christmas 2018 he released a video on YouTube in which he resurrected the series’ Machiavellian politician, Frank Underwood. Let Me Be Frank. Let me be Frank, or Let me be Honest, in a provocative play on words. Without saying it clearly, the actor played with a series of phrases in which he seemed to question all the accusations of recent years. “They would love to hear me say that it was all true and that I got what I deserve. How easy it would be if everything was so simple. But you and I know that it is never that simple, neither in politics nor in real life”, says the actor. 13 million people have viewed the video to date.

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