LONDON — British authorities have authorized criminal charges against Kevin Spacey on four counts of sexual assault against three men, the country’s Crown Prosecution Service said in a press release on Thursday.
Rosemary Ainslie, head of the service’s Special Crimes Division, said in the statement that the service had also cleared a charge against Mr Spacey, 62, for “causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent”.
The clearance of the charges followed a review of evidence gathered by London police. Mr Spacey can only be formally charged if he enters England or Wales, a spokesperson for the service said in a telephone interview. The spokesman declined to say whether the service would pursue extradition proceedings if that did not happen.
The press release says the charges relate to three plaintiffs. The incidents dated back to March 2005, August 2008 and April 2013, he added – a time when Mr Spacey was artistic director of the Old Vic theater in London. All of the incidents happened in London except one from 2013, which happened in Gloucestershire, England. The Metropolitan Police said one of the men was now “in his 40s” and the other two were now in their 30s, but did not provide their exact ages.
Representatives for Mr. Spacey did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The first person to publicly accuse Mr Spacey of sexual misconduct was actor Anthony Rapp, who said in 2017 that Mr Spacey made unwanted sexual advances to him in the 1980s when he was 14 .
Shortly after, a former TV presenter came forward to accuse Mr Spacey of sexually assaulting his son and then 20 people who worked with Mr Spacey at the Old Vic theater in London, where he was artistic director for 11, accused him of inappropriate behavior.
The theater commissioned an independent investigation, in which Mr Spacey was not involved, and released a report concluding that “his stardom and status at the Old Vic may have kept people, and particularly staff, from junior or young actors, to feel like they could talk or raise their hand for help.
The report says the theater was unable to independently verify the allegations. But some cast and staff have gone public. One actor, Roberto Cavazos, wrote on Facebook that he “had a few nasty encounters with Spacey that came close to being categorized as harassment” at the theater. “It seems all it takes is one man under 30 for Mr. Spacey to feel free to touch us,” Mr. Cavazos wrote.
The Old Vic said in a statement it could not comment on the ongoing criminal proceedings.
In 2018, Mr Spacey was charged with sexual assault on the The TV presenter’s 18-year-old son in Nantucket, Mass. Prosecutors dropped the case when the accuser invoked the Fifth Amendment and refused to continue testifying.
A massage therapist sued Mr Spacey in California in 2019, accusing him of groping and trying to kiss him before offering him oral sex during a massage. The accuser died suddenly before trial and the case was dismissed when his estate dropped the case.
Mr. Spacey is a two-time Oscar winner. He won the Best Actor Oscar in 2000 for his work in ‘American Beauty’ and in 1996 he won Best Supporting Actor for ‘The Usual Suspects’. He was also a prominent stage actor, winning a Tony Award in 1991 as a featured actor in “Lost in Yonkers,” and he was host of the Tony Awards in 2017.
But he quickly fell after accusations from Mr Rapp, who has an ongoing trial against him, which were followed by other charges.
TV and movie producers began dropping Mr Spacey from projects after Mr Rapp went public and more allegations followed, including Netflix’s political drama ‘House of Cards’, which ended its run without the actor. But more recently he’s found roles in smaller films, including an Italian feature and an American thriller.
In January, Croatian newspapers reported that Mr Spacey was shooting a film in the country in which he played Franjo Tudjman, the former communist general who led Croatia to independence.
This month, Deadline announced that he signed up for a historical drama titled “1242 – Gateway to the West” which is set to begin filming in Hungary and Mongolia in October. The film would tell the story of one of Genghis Khan’s grandsons. It was sold out at the Cannes Film Festival, Deadline added. His new American thriller was also sold at Cannes, according to Rolling Stone.
Alex Marshall reported from London and Julia Jacobs from New York. Susan Beachy contributed research.