Kevin Spacey Faces His Jury

Sex assault trial begins at London's Southwark Crown Court
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2023 9:09 AM CDT
Kevin Spacey Faces His Jury
This court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook shows actor Kevin Spacey appearing at Southwark Crown Court, London, Wednesday June 28, 2023.   (Elizabeth Cook/PA via AP)

Kevin Spacey looked calm as he arrived at London's Southwark Crown Court on Wednesday to face charges that could see him jailed for life. The Oscar-winning actor, who smiled and waved at reporters, has said he is confident he'll be cleared of all 12 sex offense charges related to alleged attacks between 2001 and 2013 on four men now in their 30s and 40s, allowing him to stage a comeback. His trial, which began Wednesday with Judge Mark Wall offering instructions to the jury, is expected to last four weeks. Fourteen jurors have been selected, two of whom will serve as alternates "in case someone realizes they know an alleged victim or someone else connected with the case," per NBC News.

The judge acknowledged many jurors will know of 63-year-old Spacey, who wore a navy suit and pink tie, "or have seen his films. That doesn't disqualify you from sitting on this jury," Wall said. But he urged jurors to avoid media coverage of the case and "rely on what you see and hear in this courtroom." The trial was then adjourned until Friday, when prosecutors will address the jury for the first time, per Reuters. As the trial plays out, the four accusers, who cannot be identified under the law, are likely to testify "via a video-link, or, in court, possibly from behind a screen or curtain" to protect their privacy, a British criminal lawyer tells the New York Times, which reports cameras are not allowed inside the courtroom.

Last May, prosecutors announced four counts of sexual assault, plus an additional count of causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without their consent, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, related to Spacey's encounters with three men between March 2005 and April 2013, when the actor served as artistic director of London's Old Vic Theatre. Then in November, Spacey was hit with three counts of indecent assault, three counts of sexual assault, and one count of causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent, related to encounters with a fourth man between 2001 and 2004. He has pleaded not guilty. (His trial comes months after a New York jury found the actor not liable for battery in a sexual abuse lawsuit.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.