Kevin Spacey has been charged with four counts of sexual assault and one count of “causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent.”
The decision was unveiled Thursday by the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which has spent over a year reviewing a file passed to them by the Metropolitan Police.
“The CPS has authorized criminal charges against Kevin Spacey, 62, for four counts of sexual assault against three men,” said Rosemary Ainslie, head of the CPS Special Crime Division. “He has also been charged with causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent. The charges follow a review of the evidence gathered by the Metropolitan Police in its investigation. The Crown Prosecution Service reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings against Mr Spacey are active and that he has the right to a fair trial.”
At least some of the charges are believed to stem from Spacey’s time at the Old Vic theater in London, where he served as artistic director from 2004-2015. Following a cascade of sexual assault against the actor in the US, the theater undertook an internal investigation which, according to the BBC, resulted in 20 victims coming forward who claimed he hadd inappropriately toward them.
The charges are the latest in a series of legal battles both civil and criminal that Spacey has been fighting since of his sexual assault and misconduct were first publicly exposed in 2017 by “Rent” and “Star Trek: Discovery” actor Anthony Rapp. Rapp told Buzzfeed News that when he was 14 Spacey made a non-consensual sexual advance toward him at a party.
Spacey, who has denied Rapp’s, is still embroiled in a civil suit over the claims of him after Rapp sued in New York for sexual abuse. Last month, Spacey reportedly filed paper requesting the case be dismissed. Rapp’s co-claimant, known only as CD and who also claimed Spacey had abused him as a teenager, was dropped from the lawsuit last June after refusing to reveal his identity to the court.
In 2018, a criminal charge against Spacey was dropped in Massachusetts after the alleged victim refused to testify and also withdrew a civil lawsuit. Spacey plead not guilty before the criminal case was dropped. In the same year he escaped a potential criminal charge in Los Angeles after prosecutors said the alleged incident was time-barred under California’s statute of limitations.
And in 2019 a civil suit against the actor alleging sexual assault was also dismissed after the plaintiff died. The death also meant Spacey sidestepped criminal charges, according to the Los Angeles Times, after the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office told the newspaper they would not pursue the case.
Spacey also continues to fight a $31 million arbitration claim related to his time on “House of Cards.” Spacey was fired from the former flagship Netflix show following Rapp’s. In 2020, MRC, which produced the show, won an arbitration ruling saying the actor owed them $31 million in lost profits as a result of Spacey’s removal from the show. ,Variety‘s owner, Penske Media, owns a joint venture with Media Rights Capital called PMRC).
In January this year, Spacey attempted to block the arbitration award by filing a request in civil court for a judge to set aside the arbitration ruling.
It is unclear whether Spacey will submit himself to the authorities in London following the charges. His whereabouts in recent years have been something of a mystery, although in 2019 he was formally interviewed as a suspect by the Metropolitan police in the US, according to the Daily Mail. In August 2019, he unexpectedly turned up to give a poetry reading at a museum in Rome. Two years later, he was cast in his first project since his dismissal from “House of Cards,” a supporting role in “L’umo Che Disegno Dio” (The Man Who Drew God), from Italian director Franco Nero.
Earlier this month, Spacey appeared to be attempting a comeback after two films starring the actor — “Peter Five Eight” and “Gateway to the West” — were shopped around at Cannes. It’s likely any comeback will now be put on hold as he turns his attention to his latest legal battle.