ovie star Kevin Spacey is a “sexual bully” and a “predator” who took pleasure in groping a series of young men, a court has heard.
The 63-year-old double Oscar winner is accused of 12 charges of sexual misconduct against four men between 2001 and 2013.
Opening the case against him, prosecutor Christine Agnew KC told jurors not to be “starstruck” by the famous face in the dock.
“He is an extremely famous actor who has won a number of awards. He has starred in many movies and television serials”, she said. “He is also, the prosecution allege, a man who sexually assaults other men. A man who does not respect personal boundaries or space, a man who it would seem delights in making others feel powerless and uncomfortable – a sexual bully.
“His preferred method of assault is it appears to grab aggressively other men in the crotch. On one occasion things went further than that.”
Actor Kevin Spacey Spacey denies 12 charges against him, including sexual assault and indecent assault (Jordan Pettitt/PA)/ PA Wire
Spacey, wearing a light grey suit and golden tie, arrived at Southwark crown court at just before 8am on Friday morning, ahead of the opening speech by the prosecutor in his case.
Appearing under his full name Kevin Spacey Fowler, he has denied all the allegations he faces.
Ms Agnew said all four alleged victims “are not known to each other but who had the misfortune to attract the attention of the predatory Mr Spacey Fowler.
“None of the men wanted to be touched by Kevin Spacey Fowler in a sexual way but he doesn’t seem to have cared very much for their feelings – he did what he wanted to do – for his own personal sexual gratification.”
She said Spacey argues some of the allegations are “simply made up”, while other incidents were consensual sexual encounters.
The court also heard that some of the complainants in the case are suing Spacey in the civil courts.
One of the alleged victims says Spacey “smacked his backside”, forced his hand on to the actor’s genitals when they took a lift together, and repeatedly groped him during car journeys.
Ms Agnew said of the alleged lift incident: “Kevin Spacey Fowler had grabbed his hand, putting it on his own penis and rubbing it hard.”
Actor Kevin Spacey Spacey denies 12 charges against him, including sexual assault and indecent assault (Jordan Pettitt/PA)
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The man “pulled his hand away saying ‘I don’t want to feel your knob’.”
The man says Spacey was “touchy feely” when they were in a car together, and “spoke quite openly about his sexuality”.
He says conversations left him feeling “uncomfortable and awkward”, and he complained of “inappropriate and unwelcome touching that became more intense”.
“It may well be that the defendant got a sexual thrill out of this type of sexual aggression”, said Ms Agnew.
Jurors heard theatre impresario Sally Greene allegedly “laughed off” allegations of sexual abuse made about Spacey.
The entrepreneur had been instrumental in bringing Spacey to the Old Vic theatre, where she was a founding member of the managing Trust.
Ms Agnew said one of the alleged victims “recalled that he had mentioned Kevin Spacey Fowler’s behaviour to Sally Greene at the time but she had simply laughed it off and told him not to worry about it.”
A second alleged victim says he came across Spacey at a charity event, describing the star as smelling of alcohol, looking like he hadn’t slept, and appearing “arrogant and dismissive”.
The man, who is black, claims Spacey said to him: “Have we f***ed, do you have a big c*ck, is it true what they say about black men, do you like it outside”.
The man claims Spacey went on to touch his leg and later grabbed him by the crotch “with such force it was painful”.
Ms Agnew said the man pushed Spacey away and said “No I’m not like that”, but the actor “simply laughed”.
The man claims Spacey also tried to get him into the toilets at a bar during a later encounter.
A young actor – the third alleged victim – says he fell asleep at Spacey’s Waterloo home and woke up to find the star performing oral sex on him. He recalls drinking beers and smoking cannabis with Spacey after the movie star had agreed to help him with his fledgling acting career.
The man says Spacey moved in for a “weird” hug during the evening, before putting his face in the man’s crotch.
“He recalls feeling vulnerable and thinking that perhaps this was just how people in the acting world acted”, said Ms Agnew.
The man says he fell asleep and “awoke some hours later with his belt intact but his button and zip were down.
“Kevin Spacey Fowler was next to him on his knees sucking his penis.”
The man says Spacey stopped and told him to leave, at around 5am, claiming the star told him not to talk about the incident.
The fourth alleged victim says he was groped by Spacey after they met in a pub near Oxford.
Spacey allegedly invited the man and his friends back to The Lakes By Yoo, a luxury Cotswold retreat where he was staying, for a party.
The man says Spacey gave him an “awkward man hug” before kissing his neck twice, saying: “Be cool, be cool”.
The man said his crotch was grabbed by Spacey, before he pushed the actor against a wall saying: “Sorry man I don’t bat for that team”.
The actor and director has films including LA Confidential, Superman Returns, and Baby Driver in his back catalogue, together with Oscar wins for The Usual Suspects and American Beauty.
In 2003, Spacey became the artistic director at The Old Vic theatre in London, a role he stayed in for 12 years.
He was awarded an honorary knighthood in 2015, shortly after ending his tenure at the theatre.
He went on to star in the acclaimed TV series House of Cards, but was dropped from the final season after allegations of sexual misconduct first came to light.
In his opening remarks, Spacey’s barrister Patrick Gibbs KC said the star is “vulnerable to opportunists” and will argue his accusers are lying or “reimagining” the incidents.
“Each of the allegations of non-consensual sexual contact is completely denied”, he said.
“Mr Spacey has come back to the UK, as he said he would, to answer them and he will say in full in due course what actually happened.”
He told jurors they will have to decide “what actually happened – if anything – what has been re-imagined with a sinister spin, what has been made up or twisted, and why, and when, because all of these things alleged against him happened a long time ago.
Mr Gibbs said they will have to assess truths, half-truths, “deliberate exaggerations” and “damned lies”.
“Likely obstacles are rumours and fame and the responses of others to fame, and secrecy, and shame, and sexual confusion”, he said.
“You will get some insights into fame, both sides of fame, and the way it changes the way other people behave towards you once you are famous.
“What do people want from you once you are famous, what do the complainants hope for.
“Mr Spacey was rich and influential. The flip side of that…is what did they want from his wealth and from his influence. What do they still want?”
Spacey was charged in May 2022 following an investigation by the Metropolitan Police.
He has pleaded not guilty to three counts of indecent assault, seven counts of sexual assault, one count of causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent, and one allegation of causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent.
The trial continues.