Kevin Spacey trial – latest updates: Actor gives evidence in defence

Kevin Spacey arrives at Southwark Crown Court, London. (PA)

Kevin Spacey arrives at Southwark Crown Court, London. (PA)

  • Kevin Spacey‘s four-week trial is under way

  • Prosecutors have concluded their case

  • Alleged victim says he’d heard rumours that Spacey liked ‘younger men’

  • Aspiring actor says he woke up to find Spacey ‘performing sex act’ on him

  • One man, who claims he was sexually assaulted by Spacey, described the actor as a ‘predator’ who was ‘grooming him’

  • Read latest updates below

Prosecutors have opened their case against Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey, who is charged with sex offences against four men, on 30 June, and closed in on Wednesday 12 July.

The Hollywood star has previously denied 12 charges, including sexual assault and indecent assault.

On Wednesday, a jury panel of 14 was selected to hear the prosecution’s opening speech as Spacey watched on intently from the dock at Southwark Crown Court.

The actor pleaded not guilty in January to three counts of indecent assault, three counts of sexual assault and one count of causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent.

The two-time Academy Award winner also previously denied four further charges of sexual assault and one count of causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent.

Before the jury panel was selected for the trial, Mr Justice Mark Wall told prospective jurors: “I am sure the defendant will be gratified to know that many of you will know his name or have seen his films.”

Spacey is on unconditional bail.

Key moments from Tuesday 11 July

Young actors were aware of “rumours” about Kevin Spacey’s alleged sexual advances on young men while he worked in the UK, a court heard.

The Oscar-winning actor, 63, is on trial at Southwark Crown Court accused of a string of sex attacks on four men between 2001 and 2013.

On Tuesday, friends of one alleged victim said he told them he and Spacey had a few drinks before he fell asleep and woke up to find the Hollywood star performing a sex act on him.

One friend told jurors there was “always chatter” about Spacey “chatting younger lads up” and it was “a bit of a thing that we would joke about as young men”.

But when Spacey rang the alleged victim, an aspiring actor at the time, to ask him to join him for a drink, his friends were not worried “to a point where we thought it would turn into anything more serious”, jurors heard.

Another friend said the alleged victim had confided in her soon after that Spacey was being “inappropriate” and it had been “really awkward” but did not go into detail about what happened at the time.

She told jurors: “There were a lot of rumours going around… I definitely was saying if anything happened you should say. Don’t keep it to yourself.”

Other friends said he had looked “grey” when they first saw him after the alleged attack.

One friend told jurors: “I remember him coming round about midday. He was not himself. He was very confident, always cracking jokes, very good at holding a conversation.

“He came in and he just looked grey and gave one-word answers.

“We were all very excited because he had come back from this, we were asking questions and making jokes and he was not himself.

“He gave one-word answers saying they had had some drinks and went back to Spacey’s flat, that was about it really.”

At a birthday celebration almost a decade later, the alleged victim then told friends in detail about what he says happened.

One friend told jurors: “He seemed agitated and upset like he couldn’t quite compute it. I don’t know where it came from, I imagine someone asked him about it.

“He looked deeply upset. This is the first time he had mentioned it (the alleged attack) to me.

“Back that weekend he said he felt so embarrassed and mortified about what happened. That’s why he didn’t say.”

Prosecutor Christine Agnew KC asked: “Did he say anything to you about the impact it had on him?”

He replied: “He said it had destroyed him. It was quite hyperbolic. He mentioned he was still affected by the incident.

“He said ‘it has destroyed me, it has messed me up’ or something like that.”

Key moments from Monday 10 July

An aspiring actor has told a jury he believed “vile sexual predator” Kevin Spacey drugged him before the star performed a sex act on him while he was asleep.

The alleged victim labelled the two-time Oscar winner as “atrocious, despicable, disgusting” after jurors were shown footage of his police interview – where he broke down as he described the alleged assault.

Southwark Crown Court heard the witness had been warned that Spacey liked young straight men, but told the jury he found the idea of people having sexual encounters with others to merely further their career to be “abhorrent”.

Jurors were told the man had written a letter to the Hollywood star asking for help, which later led to the alleged incident – adding that he was “dumbstruck, starstruck by the idea of essentially meeting an idol” when he asked him if he wanted a beer.

While at the flat, the complainant said Spacey initiated a “remarkably inappropriate” hug, which made him feel “like I was being circled by a shark” before the actor allegedly put his head on the man’s crotch.

The court heard the night had ended with the man crying at a bus stop when Spacey asked him to leave following his rejection of the star’s alleged sexual advances – describing the experience as “completely traumatic and life-ruining”.

He told the officer he did not leave when Spacey had put his head in his crotch because “you just don’t want to annoy someone who’s that powerful in the business you’re trying to break in to”.

“Nothing happened that was consensual,” the man told police.

Under cross-examination from Spacey’s lawyer Patrick Gibbs KC, the barrister said “you never said no”, to which the complainant replied: “You can’t when you are asleep.”

The witness rejected claims from Mr Gibbs that he had questioned his own sexuality after the incident.

“I find this the most reprehensible line of questioning,” he said.

The witness also described Spacey as “a vile sexual predator who sexually assaulted and performed a sex act on me while I was asleep”.

Asked by prosecutor Christine Agnew KC if the defence were correct to suggest he had manufactured the allegations against Spacey to “make money”, the man said: “Absolutely not.”

Addressing how he felt that the actor had made time to meet him, the man said: “It made me feel weirdly special because it was someone saying ‘Hey, I’m going to clear out time for you this evening’.”

He told police he had eaten leftover pizza and smoked cannabis with the star before describing how Spacey had opened his arms for a hug.

The man continued: “Then he started to nuzzle his head … he was just rubbing his head into my crotch – I thought ‘this is incredibly weird’.

“I was very nervous at this point, I was just flicking through TV channels.”

Speaking about the allegation of the sex act, the man told the officer he began to feel “woozy” before saying: “Going to sleep isn’t something I would normally do – it is unusual in my behaviour just to conk out.

“I remember four to five hours later waking up – my belt was still together but my button and my zip were down and he’s just performed (a sex act) on me.”

The man initially told police he did not want to “wildly insinuate something untoward was going on”, but later told jurors: “I was taken advantage of, I believe drugged, and sexually assaulted.”

He said Spacey immediately asked him to leave after he rejected the sex act, and added: “He said I shouldn’t talk to anyone about what had happened.”

The man told the officer that others had told him Spacey liked the “young straight guys”.

He said: “I didn’t know at that point he was a predator.”

Key moments from Wednesday 5 July

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 05, 2023: US actor Kevin Spacey arrives at Southwark Crown Court on the fourth day of his trial on sexual assault charges in London, United Kingdom on July 05, 2023. The Oscar-winning actor has pleaded not guilty to the 12 charges including sexual assault, indecent assault, and causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent against four different men which allegedly took place in London and Gloucestershire between 2001 and 2013. (Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

Kevin Spacey arrives at Southwark Crown Court on the fourth day of his trial. (Future Publishing via Getty Images)

The police interview of the Hollywood star’s third alleged victim was played to the court on Wednesday.

A “very arrogant” Spacey grabbed a man “like a cobra” in a West End theatre while making hardcore comments, a court has heard.

A jury heard the Hollywood star “smelled of booze” before allegedly grabbing the complainant, who told police he responded to the actor by saying “I’m not like that”.

The man told an officer he remembered “freezing and pushing his arm away” when Spacey allegedly assaulted him, describing it as a “bizarre and horrible experience”.

Southwark Crown Court was played footage of the police interview with the alleged victim on Wednesday, where he claimed Spacey had taken “no responsibility” for the incident, saying: “He just said ‘I’m gay’.”

Describing the alleged assault the complainant said “he was like a cobra and grabbed with such force it was really painful” and “like a cobra coming out and getting hold”.

Detailing his first impressions of the actor, the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said: “My opinion when he arrived was he smelled of booze. He looked dishevelled. He did not look like he had been to sleep.”

The man told the officer he was “taken aback” by the alleged crude comments made by the star, claiming: “It was very aggressive. I have never had anyone talk to me in that way.”

“It was all getting hardcore,” he said about Spacey’s alleged comments.

He continued: “This conversation went on. I was laughing but on the inside feeling very uncomfortable. I was feeling very shocked. It was not what I was expecting. I thought it would stop.”

The man told the officer the alleged comments made him “feel so low” and “it was offensive, what he was saying”.

He went on: “My first impression is that he seemed very arrogant. I remember he looked me up and down and looked at my crotch region. He did not respond to me particularly politely.”

Asked why he had come forward to police, the alleged victim said it was as if he had “allowed somebody, in a way, to denigrate me”.

He told police: “I hope he does the right thing – if he apologises then maybe I won’t want him to go to court. He took no responsibility for it, he just said ‘I’m gay’. He’s still not hearing what he did was wrong – that’s sort of spurred me on a bit.”

The complainant said he put his allegations “in a box” initially because the Oscar-winning actor was seen as a “golden boy”.

He said: “He was a huge success. I put it in a box and carried on with my life but he had a detrimental effect on my life and my business.

“It is like telling tales out of school, in a way.”

The trial was scheduled to recommence on Monday, 10 July.

Key moments from Tuesday 4 July

The second of the alleged victims of Spacey told police the actor had told him to “be cool” as he tried to kiss him and grabbed his crotch at a party.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said in his police interview, which was played to jurors, that the alleged encounter happened after he accidentally let the actor’s dog out.

He said: “At which point, he came towards me in a huggy motion and said ‘Don’t worry about it, it is cool, it is cool.’

“We did an awkward man-hug… he hugged me, I did a sort of pat on the back type of thing.

“At that point he kissed my neck twice and grabbed my crotch. He said the words ‘Ve cool, be cool’ twice.

“I put my arm between us and pushed him against a wall. I said ‘I am sorry, I don’t bat for that team’”, at which Spacey had a “panicked” look on his face and left.

The man was set to testify on Wednesday.

The court also heard from the first alleged victim of Spacey’s, who said he had been left him with sleepless nights and has never overcome the shame he feels over the alleged incident.

He said: “The shame I feel about it has never been overcome. I still feel ashamed about it now. I can’t say it has ever been overcome.”

Key moments from Monday 3 July

An alleged victim of Spacey’s claimed good-looking young men were warned about the “slippery” Hollywood star as it was “well known he was up to no good”, a court has heard.

Jurors were shown footage of a police interview in which the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said it was like the Hollywood star “thought he could groom me”.

The witness described Spacey as a “slippery, snaky, difficult person” and referenced his serial killer character in the film Seven, saying: “He’s a bit like that, a bit creepy.”

The 63-year-old defendant has been described by the prosecution as a “sexual bully” as he stands trial accused of sex offences against four men between 2001 and 2013.

In the video played to the jury on Monday, the man said Spacey told him he could introduce him to A-list stars.

Detailing an incident where he fought back against one of the alleged assaults, the witness said the actor replied: “That’s such a turn on to me. You’re such a man.”

In the police interview, the man told the officer about an incident in which he drove Spacey to a “lavish” showbiz party in the early 2000s.

Describing what he said happened to him, the man said: “He grabbed me so hard I almost came off the road.

“He grabbed me really hard and it really hurt.

“I pushed him against the door and said, ‘Don’t do that again or I will knock you out’.”

The man told the officer that young, good-looking men were warned about the actor’s behaviour, and said people would tell them “you better be careful”.

“It was well known he was up to no good,” the witness added.

He said he was “disgusted” Spacey had touched him, and denied being excited by it when questioned by the actor’s lawyer Patrick Gibbs KC.

The witness also dismissed Mr Gibbs’s question over whether the incidents made him question his sexuality – describing it as a “ridiculous question”.

The man told police that the actor became “very friendly” and started to grab him on several occasions, and the alleged victim told him to stop.

“He would try to grope me and try to grab me and make me feel very uncomfortable,” the witness said.

He added: “He sort of left me and didn’t say anything. He would just laugh it off and change the subject.”

The man said he could now no longer watch any of his films or TV programmes, including Netflix show House Of Cards.

He said in his police interview: “I can’t stand watching the man. It makes me feel sick.”

The man told the officer Spacey was “pretending to be nice” but was a “predator” who was “aggressive”.

He added: “He was obviously very messed up with his sexuality.”

Asked by Mr Gibbs if he thought the actor’s advances were “naughty”, the complainant said: “It wasn’t naughty, it was disgusting.”

“And also nice?” asked Mr Gibbs.

“Not nice at all,” the witness replied.

Continuing his cross-examination of the alleged victim, Mr Gibbs began to ask: “Didn’t what happened between you…”

The man interjected: “Nothing happened between us – he assaulted me.”

He told the jury he “totally 100, one million per cent did not” have any feelings towards Spacey.

“Did what happened lead you to question your own sexuality?” Mr Gibbs asked.

“Not at all. Ridiculous question,” the witness responded.

The man said it is “not true at all” that he reported the allegations to police because he “saw a bandwagon coming” and decided to “hop on board”.

“That is not true at all,” he said.

“It was the fact that it was in the news and it was all coming back to me.

“It made me have those feelings that I had then, thinking some others have been brave enough to come forward. It caused me to come forward and tell the truth as well.

“It is just to tell the truth.”

He said he described the actor as a “predator” who was “grooming” him because “that was his demeanour” and “I just felt he was a bit like that”.

The trial continues.

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