London – Kevin Spacey’s trial began Wednesday in London, with the Hollywood actor facing charges of sexual assault, indecent assault and a more serious offense of causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent, which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Spacey has pleaded not guilty to all of the 12 charges against him.

The 63-year-old arrived at London’s Southwark Crown Court and smiled and waved at media gathered outside the building as he waked in. 

As the proceedings began, the judge laid out ground rules for members of the jury, acknowledging the case had “attracted a lot of media coverage,” and urging jurists to “rely on what you see and hear in this courtroom.”

The trial is expected to last four weeks, and little more was likely to come out of Wednesday’s opening hearing. The prosecution was to address the court on Friday.

Kevin Spacey On Trial For Sex Offences
Actor Kevin Spacey, right, arrives at Southwark Crown Court in London, England, June 28, 2023.

Dan Kitwood/Getty

Spacey has repeatedly denied the allegations made by four men who are now in their 30s and 40s over acts they accuse Spacey of committing during a 12-year period between 2001 and 2013. Some of the charges date back to a period when the actor was the artistic director at London’s Old Vic Theatre, a position he held for more than a decade before his departure in 2015.

The alleged victims cannot be identified under English law.  

An internal 2017 investigation by the theater resulted in 20 anonymous claims of alleged inappropriate behavior by Spacey during his time as its artistic director.

The Oscar-winner’s “stardom and status at The Old Vic may have prevented people, and in particular junior staff or young actors, from feeling that they could speak up or raise a hand for help,” a statement from the Old Vic said at the time.

Spacey’s glittering Hollywood career largely came to an end in 2017 when actor Anthony Rapp publicly accused him of sexual misconduct in a separate case, alleging that Spacey had targeted him when he was just 14 years old.

Jury finds Kevin Spacey not liable in sex abuse trial


In October last year, a New York court dismissed a $40 million civil suit brought against Spacey by Rapp for alleged sexual misconduct dating back to the late 1980s. A judge had ruled separately that Rapp brought the case too late for criminal charges.

Charges of indecent assault and battery were also dropped against the actor in a separate case in Massachusetts in 2019, after a young man who had accused him declined to testify in the case.

In an interview earlier this month with German magazine Zeit, Spacey insisted that it was his work that “will be remembered,” and he expressed a desire to revive his career should he be cleared of the charges against him in the U.K.

“I know that there are people right now who are ready to hire me the moment I am cleared of these charges in London. The second that happens, they’re ready to move forward,” Spacey said.


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