Kevin Spacey Denies Sexual Assault Charges During U.K. Trial

Kevin Spacey told a British jury Thursday that he was a “big flirt” and had a gentle, moving and romantic encounter with a man he later accused of sexual assault.

Spacey said he always respected male boundaries, adding that he felt “devastated” by the accusations.

Two weeks after the Oscar- and Tony-winning actor’s sexual assault trial in London, Mr Spacey’s testimony Thursday was the first time jurors had heard him directly.

Spacey, 63, has pleaded not guilty to 12 counts related to an incident that prosecutors say took place between 2001 and 2013 and involved four men. For most of that time Mr. Spacey was artistic director of London’s Old Vic Theatre. .

Sitting in front of the courtroom at Southwark Crown Court, facing the jury, Mr. Spacey, in a gray suit and light blue tie, was mostly calm, occasionally joking with his legal representative, Patrick Gibbs. I also did.

At the start of his trial last month, UK prosecutor Christine Agnew told jurors that Mr Spacey was a “sexual bully” who “takes pleasure in making others feel helpless and uncomfortable”. . Agnew said the man repeatedly groped her. Agnew added that on one occasion Spacey performed oral sex on a man without his consent.

A few days after Agnew’s opening speech on June 30, the jury heard from four anonymous accusers. Under UK law, it is illegal to identify a whistleblower in a sexual assault case or to publish information that could identify a whistleblower. The jury first watched taped interviews of each accuser with British police officers before cross-examining the accusers in court.

The first complainant said during police interrogation that Spacey touched him multiple times in the early 2000s. On one occasion, according to the plaintiff, he was driving to a ball with Mr. Spacey when Mr. Spacey grabbed him by the genitals so tightly that he nearly veered off the road.

The opening session of the day on Thursday focused on Mr. Spacey’s recollections of those encounters, where he discussed his relationship with plaintiffs. Leaning back in his chair and speaking in a pensive voice, he said the man was “friendly, charming, flirtatious.”

The meeting between the two gradually became “somewhat sexual,” Spacey said, adding that this was likely the first time the actor himself had happened. Spacey said the two never had sex. The complainant “made it clear that he didn’t want to go any further,” Spacey added. He said he respected the plaintiff’s boundaries.

Mr. Spacey was then questioned about another whistleblower who told police that he had met Mr. Spacey at a charity event in 2005 and had received obscene comments from Mr. Spacey. The complainant said Mr. Spacey continued to grab her genitals with such force that “it felt like a cobra was holding onto it.”

Spacey said these events “never happened” and characterized the man’s testimony that night as “crazy.” The actor barely remembers the charity gala, but he said he would never “humiliate him in that way” in public.

Spacey’s legal representatives then turned to the charges of a third plaintiff, an aspiring actor. The man told police that he had fallen asleep at Spacey’s apartment one night in August 2008. When he woke up, he said, he found the actor performing oral sex on him. He then shoved Spacey, who said he asked him to leave.

Spacey said he believed he enjoyed a “very nice, lovely” evening with the plaintiff. The man said he became “awkward and fumbling” after oral sex and “hurried away” as if he regretted the encounter. Spacey said her voice increased in volume and speed as she discussed the incident, and called the complainant soon afterwards to check on him, as phone records show. Spacey said the two later exchanged text messages.

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