London – Kevin Spacey’s trial began in London on Wednesday, with the Hollywood actor facing charges of sexual assault, indecent assault and the more serious offense of causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. . spacey hasto the 12 charges against him.
The 63-year-old arrived at London’s Southwark Crown Court and smiled and waved at the media gathered outside the building when he woke up.
As the trial began, the judge laid out ground rules for jurors, acknowledging that the case had “attracted a lot of media coverage” and urging jurists to “trust what they see and hear in this courtroom.” .
The trial is expected to last four weeks, with little else likely to come out of Wednesday’s opening hearing. The prosecution was due to address the court on Friday.
Spacey has repeatedly denied allegations made by four men now in their 30s and 40s about acts they accuse Spacey of committing over a 12-year period between 2001 and 2013. Some of the charges date back to a period when the actor was the actor. artistic director of the Old Vic Theater in London, a role he held for over a decade before his departure in 2015.
The alleged victims cannot be identified under English law.
A 2017 internal investigation by the theater resulted in 20 anonymous complaints of alleged inappropriate behavior by Spacey during his time as artistic director.
“The Oscar winner’s stardom and status at The Old Vic may have prevented people, and particularly junior staff or young actors, from feeling they could speak up or raise their hands for help,” a statement from the Old Vic said. Vic in time.
Spacey’s glittering career in Hollywood largely came to a close in 2017 when actor Anthony Rapp publicly accused him of sexual misconduct in a separate case, alleging that Spacey had assaulted him when he was just 14 years old.
In October of last year, a New York courtbrought against Spacey by Rapp for alleged sexual misconduct dating back to the late 1980s. A judge had separately ruled that Rapp filed the case too late to bring criminal charges.
Indecent assault and battery charges were alsoin a separate case in Massachusetts in 2019, after a youth who had accused him refused to testify in the case.
In an interview earlier this month with German magazine Zeit, Spacey insisted his work “will be remembered” and expressed his desire to revive his career if he is cleared of the charges against him in the UK.
“I know there are people right now who are ready to hire me the moment I am cleared of these charges in London. The moment it happens, they’re ready to move on,” Spacey said.