American actor Kevin Spacey has been charged with four sexual assaults against three men in the UK, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced on Thursday (26 May). Through this procedure, equivalent to the indictment in France, the British prosecution thus authorizes criminal proceedings against the former star of the series House of Cards.
“He has also been charged with causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without their consent,” Rosemary Ainslie, head of the CPS’s Special Crimes Division, said in a statement. She also clarified that the charges followed “a review of evidence gathered by the Metropolitan Police in their investigation”.
The charges cover a period from March 2005 to April 2013. Two charges relate to sexual assaults allegedly committed in March 2005 in London on the same complainant. Another sexual assault reportedly took place in August 2008 on a second complainant, who also accuses the actor of forcing him into penetrative sexual activity without consent.
Finally, Kevin Spacey is charged with a fourth sexual assault on a third complainant in April 2013 in Gloucestershire (south-west England).
London police said the complainants, whose names have not been made public, are now in their 30s and 40s.
Complaints related to his time running the Old Vic Theater
London police had opened an investigation after receiving complaints of sexual assaults against the actor, some of which were allegedly committed in the Lambeth district of London, where the Old Vic theater is located, of which Kevin Spacey was artistic director between 2004 and 2015.
These accusations were made in the wake of the Weinstein scandal, named after the American film producer targeted by numerous accusations of harassment and sexual assault, revealed in the fall of 2017 by the New York Times and the New Yorker. The Old Vic theater then commissioned an internal investigation, conducted by a legal firm, into the behavior of its former artistic director. In total, “twenty personal testimonies of alleged inappropriate behavior on the part of Kevin Spacey” had been collected.
The actor has also been the subject of investigations in the United States. Most of the charges against him in the United States and England concern men, often young or even teenagers. In the United States, the actor was charged with indecent assault and sexual assault in the state of Massachusetts, but the charges were dropped in July 2019. He was accused of having, in July 2016, got hold of the penis of an 18-year-old bar employee after making him drink.
This wave of accusations took a heavy toll on the career and reputation of the two-time Oscar-winning American actor, for his roles in The Usual Suspects (1995) and American Beauty (1999). He had been landed by Netflix’s House of Cards, which he starred in.
The actor was also erased from Ridley Scott’s latest film, All the Money in the World; the scenes in which he played were shot again in extremis by Christopher Plummer. In the sixth and final season of House of Cards, released in November 2018, his character, Frank Underwood, was missing.
In November 2021, the actor was ordered to pay $31 million to MRC, the production company behind the hit series House of Cards, about political intrigue in Washington. MRC was seeking damages for loss of income attributed to the withdrawal of the actor from this series after accusations against him of harassment and sexual abuse.