Kevin Spacey Takes Surprising Step Against Sexual Assault Accusations

By Nathan Kamal | Published

Kevin Spacey

Kevin Spacey has responded to the charges leveled against him in the United Kingdom. Per Deadline, the actor issued a statement that he is voluntarily returning to the UK to appear before British courts. Recently, Kevin Spacey was charged with four counts of sexual assault (including one of “causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent”) by the British prosecution agency Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). At the time, neither the actor nor his representatives responded to the charges. Kevin Spacey’s statement read:

I very much appreciate the Crown Prosecution Service’s statement in which they carefully reminded the media and the public that I am entitled to a fair trial, and innocent until proven otherwise. While I am disappointed with their decision to move forward, I will voluntarily appear in the U.K. as soon as can be arranged and defend myself against these charges, which I am confident will prove my innocence.

Though Kevin Spacey is best known as a film actor, he has had a long and acclaimed theatrical career, much of which took place in the United Kingdom. From 2004 to 2015, Spacey served as the artistic director of The Old Vic theater in London; while he never assumed British citizenship, he was eventually given an honorary knighthood (specifically, ​​Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire, presented by Prince Charles) in 2016. Having to reappear in the United Kingdom under very different circumstances must be a change for Kevin Spacey, but saves any questions of necessary extradition 

The Crown Prosecution Service indicated that their charges against Kevin Spacey were based on an examination of the initial investigation by the UK’s Metropolitan Police; the individual victims and time periods were not disclosed (as one might expect in this kind of matter). However, this is only the most recent of similar charges and accusations against the actor in recent years. In 2017, the actor Anthony Rapp accused Kevin Spacey of having assaulted him at a party when Rapp was 14 and Spacey was 26. Over the course of the next several years, a number of other allegations became public. 

A number of workers on the acclaimed Netflix political thriller series House of Cards, in which Kevin Spacey led an ensemble cast, made similar allegations of misconduct against him. So did a number of other actors and Hollywood figures, as well as a parent who claimed that Spacey had assaulted her teenage son. Some of the claims were made public without legal process, while others resulted in criminal assault charges or civil lawsuits. Prior to the charges presented in the UK by CPS, there were no active criminal cases against Kevin Spacey since 2019, though a lawsuit by Anthony Rapp appears to still be pending. 

Since the wave of accusations against him, Kevin Spacey has largely disappeared from the public eye. He was very publicly replaced by Christopher Plummer (via reshoots) in Ridley Scott’s drama All the Money in the World. He was also dropped by his longtime publicist and talent agency, while the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced they had reversed a decision to present him with an award. Kevin Spacey had recently begun to show some signs of returning to acting with several announced roles. While the effects the UK charges might have on any attempt at career revival are unknown, the producers of Peter Five Eight (one of his upcoming films) indicated their support of the actor in the meantime.