Kevin Spacey was charged with four counts of sexual assault by the Crown Protective Services in the United Kingdom today. Variety stated the actor was also charged with one count of “causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent,” which sounds a lot like sexual assault as well.
Since 2017, there have been a torrent of sexual assault and harassment allegations against Spacey, beginning with Anthony Rapp’s searing account of their encounter when the Broadway actor was 14 and Spacey was 26, and ongoing up through Spacey’s work on House of Cards on Netflix. Spacey deflected Rapp’s accusation at the time, stating he did not remember the encounter but was apologetic if it was true, then went on to come out as gay, as though that admission would challenge or undo the violent nature of what he’d been accused of.
Since then, Spacey — tricky little devil that he may or may not be, according to his leaky memory — has continued to elude the legal system, vanishing off to continental Europe where his talents are still valued by a morally agnostic audience. Spacey has spent time away from public life, only emerging on Christmas Eve, like Krampus, to make a cursed little video on Twitter and then fuck off for a while. Peter Five Eight, his first film since 2017, previewed at Cannes last week; In it, Spacey appears turtlenecked and villainous, holding a cell phone that says “encrypted channel incoming.” Sounds necessary!
It’s unclear what these UK charges actually mean for Spacey, or for those still pursuing legal action against himm, as he has a lucky pattern of eluding actual consequences at every turn, barring social banishment from Hollywood. Stateside, his accusers have withdrawn claims, or not survived long enough to see them go to court; Rapp’s suit against the actor remains in legal limbo. Only time will tell if Spacey will have to face anything more than a life sentence to shitty European-backed movies.