Kevin Spacey pleads not guilty to sexual offense charges in London court
The accusations against Spacey date back almost 20 years.
LONDON -- American actor Kevin Spacey pleaded not guilty to accusations of sexual offenses in a London court on Thursday morning.
Spacey, 62, entered the plea during a hearing at the Central Criminal Court of England and Wales, also known as the Old Bailey. The judge set a date of June 6, 2023, for the trial to begin and said it would last three to four weeks.
The two-time Oscar-winning actor, who served as artistic director of London's Old Vic theater between 2004 and 2015, is accused of four counts of sexual assault and one count of causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent. The charges stem from claims by three men that Spacey had sexually assaulted them in England almost 20 years ago. The alleged incidents took place in the British capital between March 2005 and August 2008, and in Gloucestershire in April 2013. The victims are now in their 30s and 40s.
Spacey's lawyer previously stated that the actor "strenuously denies" the allegations.
Last month, London's Metropolitan Police Service formally charged Spacey just weeks after receiving authorization to do so from the Crown Prosecution Service. He was granted unconditional bail and allowed to return to the United States after a preliminary hearing at the Westminster Magistrates' Court in London on June 16.
In a statement given exclusively to ABC News' "Good Morning America" in late May, Spacey said he would "voluntarily" appear in court in the U.K. capital.
"I very much appreciate the Crown Prosecution Service's statement in which they carefully reminded the media and the public that I am entitled to a fair trial, and innocent until proven otherwise," Spacey said. "While I am disappointed with their decision to move forward, I will voluntarily appear in the U.K. as soon as can be arranged and defend myself against these charges, which I am confident will prove my innocence."
Spacey won an Academy Award for best supporting actor for his role in the 1995 film "The Usual Suspects." He was awarded another Oscar for best lead actor for the 1999 movie "American Beauty."
Most recently, Spacey was praised for his starring role as a ruthless politician seeking revenge in the Netflix series "House of Cards." But he was written out of the show after being fired in 2017 when actor Anthony Rapp accused Spacey of sexually assaulting him at a party in New York City in 1986, when Rapp was 14. Spacey has denied the allegations and was criticized for coming out as gay in his apology to Rapp.
"I have a lot of respect and admiration for Anthony Rapp as an actor," Spacey said in a statement at the time. "I'm beyond horrified to hear this story. I honestly do not remember the encounter, it would have been over 30 years ago. But if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior."
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