By Brian Merry – The Associated Press
LONDON (AP) — Kevin Spacey held back tears and covered his eyes with a tissue on Thursday as he told a jury in a London court how a sexual misconduct allegation six years ago ruined his career. told them.
“My world exploded,” Spacey said at the sexual assault trial. “In my rush to judge, I lost my job, my reputation, and everything within days before the first question was asked or answered.”
This emotional testimony came at the end of about three hours in the witness box, in what could be the most momentous part of the statement of his life. He denied sexually assaulting three men and chalked up the alleged groin grab by a fourth man as a “clumsy evasion”.
Allegations that have spiraled Spacey’s illustrious film and stage career began in 2017, when fellow actors accused Spacey of sexual misconduct 30 years before the #metoo movement gained momentum in the United States. Discovered.
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News of these accusations prompted others to come forward, including four British men who claimed the two-time Oscar winner was sexually assaulted between 2001 and 2013.
Prosecutor Christine Agnew called Spacey a “sexual bully” who “takes pleasure in making others feel helpless and uncomfortable.”
The four alleged victims, who did not know each other, described individually disturbing encounters that escalated from unwanted touches to aggressive caresses. A man who called Spacey a “vile sexual predator” said he passed out or fell asleep on an actor’s couch in London and when she woke up, Spacey performed oral sex. rice field.
Spacey spoke softly and seriously, and only momentarily raised a disdain to address some of the allegations.
He joked, sometimes humorously, humblely and self-deprecatingly, about his acting career that began when he emerged from his mother’s womb. He repeatedly mentions the names of stars in his own world, such as his high school classmates Val Kilmer and Judi Dench. He taught them table tennis, he said.
Spacey seemed content to look back on the happier times in his career, but was repeatedly drawn back to why he was addressing a jury of nine men and three women at the Southwark Court. was
If convicted of one offense of sexual assault and lewd conduct and one of perpetual sexual intercourse without consent, a person could be sentenced to imprisonment. Spacey, 63, has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Defense attorney Patrick Gibbs has examined the allegations against Spacey in chronological order, going back to the early 2000s when Spacey began working at London’s Old Vic Theatre, later becoming its artistic director. .
Spacey struck a dramatic pose during her testimony, recalling the “close” and “slightly sexual” friendship she shared with the man she now accuses of committing violent groping. He said he was “devastated” by the man who accused him of sexual assault.
“I never thought a man I knew would stab me in the back 20 years from now,” Spacey said.
The accuser said the man was driving and caressed Spacey to the climax, and Spacey violently grabbed the man’s crotch and nearly flung him off the road. He told police he warned her Spacey not to do the same thing again and threatened to stun her.
“That never happened,” Spacey testified. “I was not on the suicide mission during that time.”
Spacey said the man was funny and charming and seemed lost in thought as he looked at the photos he sent him during a mountain trek to raise money for charity. Told.
“I’m a big cheater,” Spacey said, acknowledging that he was probably the first to act, touching the man but not in a “violent, aggressive, painful way.”
Spacey’s description of gentle strokes directly contradicted the testimony of the alleged victims. She was caught off guard when she aggressively grabbed her pubic area over her clothes.
“It wasn’t like a caress. It was like a cobra coming out and being grabbed,” said one man.
Spacey called the man’s account “crazy” and said it never happened. She also denied that she made racist remarks toward men during a rehearsal for a charity theater event.
Spacey has been vocal about the most serious allegations in the case, denying allegations that he drugged the man before the assault.
“I know how I treat people and I would never do what he claims to do. It doesn’t make logical sense,” he said.
Spacey said she couldn’t remember the man when police confronted her. After repeatedly watching videos of the man’s interrogation by detectives, he said there was a brief consensual sexual contact at the apartment that ended when the man hurriedly left.
“The person I had this intimate moment with suddenly became awkward and groping,” he said. “I don’t know if he immediately regretted it. I can’t speak for him, but something was strange.”
He said phone records showed they texted each other for months.
Spacey said he largely accepted the testimony of a fourth man who accused Spacey of kissing him twice on the neck and grabbing his groin on a night of heavy drinking.
The man said he looked panicked when Spacey pushed him and said, “I’m not at bat with that team.”
Spacey said she didn’t remember making an “awkward pass” but was happy the man said no when he said he wasn’t interested.
At least two of them have also filed lawsuits against Spacey.
Spacey said he successfully fought the accusers in US courts, but has legal costs.
Massachusetts prosecutors dropped charges after the alleged victim refused to testify. A jury in New York last fall acquitted Spacey in a $40 million lawsuit filed by Star Trek: Discovery actor Anthony Rapp for allegations dating back to 1986.
Spacey said he fought the case in the same way he had in London, but tenaciously dug up old records, boxes of photographs and any evidence that could disprove his claims.
Overlooking the courtroom and 12 viewers, Spacey said that “my fellow jurors” were swiftly acquitted unanimously in the New York case.
Spacey faces hours of cross-examination on Friday, after which Spacey’s lawyers are expected to present several witnesses on Spacey’s behalf.
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