Prosecutors rested their sexual assault case against Kevin Spacey in a London courtroom Wednesday after four men testified in the past two weeks that the Oscar winner preyed on them.
Prosecutors read jurors statements Spacey gave investigators denying that he aggressively grabbed three men by the crotch and performed a nonconsensual sex act on a fourth.
The defense is scheduled to begin presenting its case Thursday in Southwark Crown Court. The stakes are high, with Spacey facing a possible prison term if convicted.
The 63-year-old American actor has pleaded not guilty to 12 charges that include sexual and indecent assault counts and one count of causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent.
The allegations date from 2001 to 2013 when Spacey was working at the Old Vic Theatre.
None of the alleged victims knew each other but each testified that they went to police after Spacey was accused of sexual misconduct in the U.S. in 2017 as the #MeToo movement gained momentum.
The accusations at the time crippled Spacey’s once-stellar career. He won a best supporting actor Academy Award for the 1995 film “The Usual Suspects” and a lead actor Oscar for the 1999 movie “American Beauty.” He was fired from the TV series “House of Cards” and most of his work dried up.
Three of the men said Spacey had a reputation of being drawn to good-looking young men and one said he had been warned to avoid him.
“It was well known he was up to no good,” the man testified.
One man said Spacey made racially offensive remarks to him and then ” like a cobra coming out and getting hold,” grabbed his penis when they were alone backstage at a charity event.
An aspiring actor who reached out to Spacey for advice said he regretted meeting up with him for a late-night drink. He said he ended up at Spacey’s flat near Waterloo station and — after falling asleep or passing out — woke up with the star performing oral sex on him.
A fourth man who had gone out for a night of heavy drinking with the actor said Spacey later gave him an awkward hug and kissed his neck before grabbing his crotch.
Spacey denied doing anything nonconsensual and said he didn’t remember meeting two of the men.
Spacey told police last year that the fourth man who came forward had “reimagined” their time together and concocted false allegations.
Defense lawyer Patrick Gibbs suggested the men were motivated by money. Several of them have filed lawsuits against the star and one testified that an American lawyer had said he could win him $10 million.
Gibbs suggested witnesses were lying, that one of the men had obstructed the investigation by resisting efforts to let officers view phone data and social media accounts and that some of the men were later ashamed of what they’d consensually done with Spacey.
Spacey, who owns homes in London and the U.S., is free on unconditional bail.
Brian Melley, The Associated Press