Legendary actor Kevin Spacey pleaded not guilty to seven sexual offense counts in Southwark Crown Court on Friday. The actor had already made a not-guilty plea last year to charges he had assaulted three other men in the UK.
The new charges, filed in November by a single British plaintiff, included three counts each of indecent assault and sexual assault, and one count of causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent, all allegedly stemming from encounters between 2001 and 2004.
Both sets of charges date from the period in which the ‘American Beauty’ actor lived in London and served as artistic director of the Old Vic Theatre. His lawyer agreed to join the two cases, and Spacey is expected to begin trial in June.
A New York jury sided with Spacey last year in a $40 million civil lawsuit filed by former stage actor Anthony Rapp, who accused the star of sexually assaulting him when he was just 14 after the two met while working on Broadway together.
Rapp’s public accusation of Spacey in 2017 torpedoed the actor’s career as the #MeToo movement was cresting in Hollywood, opening the door to a stream of other accusers. The producer of his hit show ‘House of Cards’ even opted to hurriedly kill off Spacey’s character – and by extension the show itself – rather than continue to work with the suddenly controversial star.
The favorable verdict seems to have cleared the way for Spacey to return to film, however, as he was hired in November for his first movie role since the scandal broke, voicing the villain in a British indie film.
Despite the charges pending against him, Spacey is set to be honored at Italy’s National Cinema Museum next week with a lifetime achievement award. He was granted unconditional bail by the UK judge and is free to travel.