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British prosecutors authorize sexual assault charges against Kevin Spacey

Actor Kevin Spacey arrives to court in January 2019. (Steven Senne/AP)
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correction

The Crown Prosecution Service has corrected an earlier statement to clarify that Kevin Spacey has not yet been charged with various counts of sexual assault. Instead, the CPS has authorized the charges against Spacey, which a spokesperson said can only be enacted upon the actor’s arrest in England or Wales.

British prosecutors authorized charges against actor Kevin Spacey on Thursday, with several counts of sexual assault stemming from incidents alleged to have taken place in London and Gloucestershire between March 2005 and April 2013.

Rosemary Ainslie, head of the Crown Prosecution Service’s Special Crime Division, stated in a news release that the CPS authorized criminal charges for four counts of sexual assault against three men, as well as another count of “causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent.” The charges facing Spacey, 62, follow an investigation conducted by the Metropolitan Police. Spacey can be formally charged only upon arrest in England or Wales. A CPS spokesperson did not respond to The Washington Post’s request for comment on whether the actor would be extradited.

Spacey was first accused of sexual misconduct in October 2017 by actor Anthony Rapp, who told BuzzFeed News that Spacey made a sexual advance toward him at a party in 1986, when Rapp was 14 and Spacey was 26. After the article’s publication, Spacey issued a statement on social media saying he did not recall the encounter, but that “if I did behave then as [Rapp] describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior.”

This is the story of how Hollywood's unique power structure enabled sexual harassment to remain the entertainment industry's open secret. (Video: Nicki DeMarco, Erin Patrick O'Connor/The Washington Post, Photo: Sarah Hashemi/The Washington Post)

In the same statement, Spacey said the article inspired him to publicly come out as gay.

More than a dozen others came forward with allegations against Spacey after Rapp, some of which resulted in legal action. Prosecutors in Los Angeles and London launched investigations in late 2018, though the Los Angeles case did not move forward because the alleged incident fell outside the statute of limitations. Soon after, Spacey was charged in Massachusetts with one count of indecent assault and battery against an 18-year-old man in Nantucket. He pleaded not guilty in January 2019, six months before prosecutors dropped the case “due to the unavailability of the complaining witness.”

A lawsuit brought against Spacey in early 2018 by a massage therapist accusing him of sexual assault was also dropped in December 2019 following the death of the therapist.

Spacey, who won Academy Awards for his performances in “The Usual Suspects” and “American Beauty,” starred as ruthless politician Frank Underwood in the Netflix series “House of Cards” when the allegations against him first surfaced. Netflix suspended production immediately after the BuzzFeed News article and dropped him from the show days later. The sixth and final season did not feature Spacey at all.

The actor was also edited out of Ridley Scott’s “All the Money in the World” in November 2017 — just a month before its scheduled theatrical run — and replaced in reshoots with Christopher Plummer.

Spacey has not appeared in any releases since, aside from bizarre YouTube videos he posted each Christmas Eve from 2018 to 2020 (in which he speaks in character as Underwood, at times). But he stars in two projects with distribution rights for sale at the ongoing Cannes Film Festival: Michael Zaiko Hall’s “Peter Five Eight” and Péter Soós’ “Gateway to the West.” According to the Internet Movie Database, he has two other films in the works as well.

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