Kevin Spacey granted bail after appearing in London court to face sexual assault charges

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Kevin Spacey granted bail after appearing in London court to face sexual assault charges
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Hollywood actor Kevin Spacey has vowed to “establish his innocence” as he appeared in court for the first time to face a string of sexual assault allegations.

The 62-year-old Usual Suspects star is accused of offences against three different men between 2005 and 2013, during the period when he was the artistic director of the Old Vic theatre.

Criminal charges against Spacey were announced last month, and his court date was set after he flew to the UK on Monday to be formally charged by the Crown Prosecution Service.

 (PA)
(PA)

Spacey was surrounded by photographers as he arrived at Westminster magistrates court this morning in a silver Mercedes, with court security, his legal team and a Metropolitan Police officer flanking him as he entered the building.

Wearing a blue suit with teal suede brogues and a dark patterned tie in the dock, Spacey spoke to confirm his full name – Kevin Spacey Fowler – his date of birth, and his address at a £3.2 million luxury apartment in Westminster Bridge Road near to the South Bank.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

He took a long look at the public gallery before the hearing commenced, and received an apology from Deputy Chief Magistrate Tan Ikram whe “technical issues” delayed proceedings by a couple of minutes.

The charges were read out in court but Spacey was not asked to enter any pleas on Thursday, after being told the case is being sent to Southwark crown court for trial.

His barrister, Patrick Gibbs QC, told the hearing Spacey denies all the charges, and has “returned to the UK…in order to establish his innocence”.

“Mr Spacey strenuously denies any and all criminality in this case”, added Mr Gibbs.

Judge Ikram told the hearing he had previously issued an arrest warrant for Spacey, and withdrew it on Thursday as the actor had voluntarily appeared at court.

According to the Metropolitan Police, which has investigated the actor, he is accused of two sexual assaults in March 2005 in London on a man who is now in his 40s.

Spacey allegedly sexually assaulted a second man who is now in his 30s in London in August 2008, and faces a further charge of causing him to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent.

The final charge dates back to April 2013, when a man now in his 30s says he was sexually assaulted by Spacey in Gloucestershire.

It is said the sexual assaults took place when the alleged victims “did not consent and (Spacey) did not reasonably believe that he was consenting”.

Described in court as a “man of significant means”, Spacey listened attentively as bail conditions were discussed, reaching up occasionally to scratch on his ear.

When the charges were first announced, the Oscar-winning star said in a statement: “While I am disappointed with their decision to move forward, I will voluntarily appear in the UK as soon as can be arranged and defend myself against these charges, which I am confident will prove my innocence.”

Spacey scooped two Academy Awards for his turns in American Beauty and The Usual Suspects, and gained critical acclaim for movies including LA Confidential, Seven, and 2017’s Baby Driver.

Between 2004 and 2015, he had a highly successful stint as the artistic director at the Old Vic theatre in London, working with the likes of Richard Dreyfuss, Jeff Goldblum, and Sam Mendes, and earning him an honorary knighthood from Prince Charles.

From 2013, Spacey was at the forefront of Netflix’s rise in popularity as he fronted the US reboot of House of Cards. However, he was axed from the show after sexual abuse allegations first came to light in 2017.

Spacey, a Tony, Golden Globe, and BAFTA winner who has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, was also erased from Ridley Scott film All the Money in the World with weeks to go before its release, to be replaced by Christopher Plummer.

Spacey is due to appear at Southwark crown court on July 14 for a formal plea hearing.

The actor was freed on unconditional bail by Judge Ikram, who asked the defendant whether to refer to him as Spacey or Fowler and was told “Spacey”.

He thanked a member of the court staff on his way out of the dock, and went into a private conference with his legal team.

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