UPDATED WITH COMPLAINANT TESTIMONY 03.51 a.m. PT: Kevin Spacey has been labelled a “sexual bully” who “sexually assaults other men” and “delights in making others feel powerless and uncomfortable” by the prosecutor opening the American Beauty star’s trial. Spacey was variously accused this morning by complainants of waking up to find him performing oral sex on them and of “grabbing [the complainant’s] penis with such force it was painful.”
Christine Agnew KC for the prosecution told 12 jurors that Spacey’s preferred method of assault is to “grab aggressively other men in the crotch” but that “on one occasion things went further than that.” The Oscar-winning House of Cards and Se7en star denies the 12 charges against him, including sexual assault and indecent assault, alleged to have been committed between 2001 and 2013.
Kevin Spacey Arrives At Southwark Crown Court On Day One Of Sexual Offenses Trial, Jury Sworn In
Agnew, who urged jurors to “keep yourself grounded” and avoid becoming “star struck,” said the jury over the next four weeks will hear from four men during the trial, all in their 20s or 30s, who attracted the attention of Spacey — who is being tried under his real name, Kevin Spacey Fowler.
She said: “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.”
“What does the defendant say in answer to these allegations?,” she added. “Well, in relation to some he suggests that they are quite simply made up. In relation to others, he accepts that there was a sexual encounter between him and the other man but asserts that anything that took place would have taken place with the consent of the other man.”
Agnew labelled Spacey 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.”
Concluding her opening remarks to the jury, Agnew KC said Spacey had “abused the power and influence that his reputation and fame afforded him.”
“Grabbed [the complainant’s] penis with such force it was painful”
Jurors were told about the first complainant, who Spacey employed as a driver when he visited London. He was aged between 30 and 34 during the period.
“Unusually the defendant would normally sit in the front passenger’s seat of the car,” said Agnew. “When he started driving him [the complainant] recalls that he was very ‘touchy feely’ and someone who spoke quite openly about his sexuality.”
The complainant, who Agnew said describes himself as “a ‘man’s man’,” found this “unusual” and felt “uncomfortable and awkward when he was required to be around Kevin Spacey Fowler because of his sexualised behaviour.”
Over time, Agnew said, the “inappropriate and unwelcome touching became more intense and progressed to Mr Spacey stoking [the complainant’s] leg and rubbing his neck.” The behavior became more “aggressive” with Spacey escalating his actions to “grab and grope” the complainant.
The second complainant, who was around 28 at the time, recalled Spacey asking if they had “f****ed” during an encounter at the Haymarket Theatre in London. Agnew said Spacey had put his hand on the complainant’s leg. Later, Spacey “grabbed [the complainant’s] penis with such force it was painful” while showing him around the venue’s backstage.
Agnew added that Spacey “simply laughed” after the complainant pushed him away.
The third complainant said he woke up to find Spacey performing oral sex on him after meeting in the actors’ apartment.
When Spacey went to hug him, “(The complainant) did not move to hug him back as he thought it was a ‘bit weird’, so Kevin Spacey Fowler stretched forward, hugged him around the waist and in doing so put his face into (the complainant’s) crotch,” according to Agnew.
Jurors heard how the complainant moved away and later “fell asleep or passed out”, commenting afterwards that it was “unusual” for him to “conk out”. The court heard the complainant woke up later to find Spacey performing oral sex on him.
“Despite (the complainant) saying no he continued so (the complainant) pushed him off,” the prosecutor said. Agnew added that Spacey told the complainant not to tell anyone what happened before the man went to a bus stop “where he sat and cried.”
The fourth complainant says Spacey kissed his neck twice and grabbed his crotch in a pub in a village near Oxford in 2013, according to Agnew. “(The complainant) pushed the defendant against a wall and said, ‘Sorry man I don’t bat for that team’,” added the prosuector.
Spacey arrived at Southwark Crown Court in a taxi a couple of hours ago looking calm in images supplied by the Press Association. He is likely to appear on each day the trial sits during the next four weeks but won’t necessarily take the stand.
In an initial court hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in June, Spacey’s lawyer, Patrick Gibbs QC, said his client “strenuously denies any and all criminality in this case”. Speaking to ZEITmagazin earlier this month, Spacey said “there are people right now who are ready to hire me the moment I am cleared of these charges in London.”
Before the jury panel was selected for the trial, Mr Justice Mark Wall told prospective jurors: “I am sure the defendant will be gratified to know that many of you will know his name or have seen his films.”
On Wednesday, the judge said the case has “quite obviously” attracted a lot of media attention, but that they “must avoid this coverage where you can”.
Spacey has an address in Waterloo, south London, but also lives in the U.S., where he has family and a dog.
The trial continues.
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