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Kevin Spacey 'strenuously' denies UK sexual assault charges, given unconditional bail

Kevin Spacey has been accused of sexual assault and appeared in a UK court today
Kevin Spacey has been accused of sexual assault and appeared in a UK court today   -   Copyright  Henry Nicholls/Reuters
By Tim Gallagher

Kevin Spacey today appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court, London to face charges of sexual assault. 

The actor arrived to a mob of cameras outside the preliminary hearing after flying from the US to face the UK's justice system. 

Wearing a blue suit, Spacey spoke only to confirm his personal details in a hearing which was largely dedicated to a bail application. 

He did not enter a formal plea, but his lawyer, Patrick Gibbs, said: “Mr Spacey strenuously denies any and all criminality in this case,” adding that Spacey must face the charges “if he wants to proceed with his life.”

Prosecutor Natalie Dawson argued that due to the severity of the sentence if he were to be found guilty it would be "reasonably foreseeable" that Spacey wouldn't return to the UK to stand trial. 

However, Spacey's defence team said his attendance at court provided reason for bail. They also referenced the international nature of his work in the bail application. 

“What is he going to do if he doesn’t answer charges? Where is he going to hide?” defence barrister Patrick Gibbs said. “Is he to be incarcerated in his flat in London, unable to work, unable to audition to work?”

Gibbs also referenced Spacey's ageing dog as a reason for him to be allowed international travel. 

Spacey was eventually granted unconditional bail by deputy chief magistrate Tan Ikran. 

What is Kevin Spacey accused of?

Spacey is charged with four counts of sexual assault and one count of "causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent". The charges relate to the alleged assaults of three men in the UK between 2005 and 2013.

The first two charges of sexual assault relate to a man who is now in his 40s. They are alleged to have taken place in 2005 in London.

The 62-year-old is also accused of sexual assault and causing a person to engage in penetrative sex without consent, by another man who is now in his 30s, in 2008 in London.

The final count of sexual assault is brought by a third man, also now in his 30s, relating to an incident in 2013 in Gloucestershire.

Who is Kevin Spacey?

Spacey is a well-known actor who is perhaps most recognisable to the public from his roles in ’American Beauty,’ ‘Seven,’ and the Netflix show ‘House of Cards’.

Spacey is a two-time Oscar-winner but his career has taken a back foot in the last few years. 

During the period of the allegations, Spacey ran London’s Old Vic theatre.

Spacey previously said he was happy to ‘voluntarily’ appear in court to defend his innocence.

In a statement made to Good Morning America, Spacey said,

"I very much appreciate the [Crown Prosecution's] statement in which they carefully reminded the media and the public that I am entitled to a fair trial, and innocent until proven otherwise.

"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."