Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey is free to fly home to the US after a court heard he “strenuously denies” allegations that he sexually assaulted three men.
The former Hollywood star, 62, was not asked to enter pleas to four counts of sexual assault and one count of causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent when he appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.
The allegations relate to three men, now aged in their 30s and 40s, in London and Gloucestershire between 2005 and 2013, while Spacey was artistic director of The Old Vic theatre in London.
Spacey smiled and nodded at deputy chief magistrate Tan Ikram as he granted the House Of Cards star unconditional bail ahead of his next appearance at Southwark Crown Court on July 14.
The court heard Spacey lives in the US, where he has family and a nine-year-old dog, and is required to be in the country to audition for work.
“Mr Spacey strenuously denies any and all criminality in this case,” said Patrick Gibbs QC, defending.
“He has returned to the UK in order to establish his innocence.
“He needs to answer these charges if he is to proceed with his life.”
Spacey was mobbed by photographers as he arrived at court wearing a blue suit with teal suede brogues and a dark patterned tie.
He was ushered into the building surrounded by members of his legal team and two police officers after exiting a silver Mercedes.
Spacey made no comment but smiled as he was rushed past a queue of other court attendees and through the entrance before passing security.
He stood in the dock to confirm his name as Kevin Spacey Fowler, his London address at a flat in Waterloo and his date of birth.
Spacey occasionally glanced towards the packed press bench and full public gallery during the hearing, which lasted 28 minutes.
Prosecutor Natalie Dawson did not give any further details of the allegations beyond the charges, which were read out by the court’s legal advisor.
They include: two counts of sexual assault on a man, who is now in his 40s, in March 2005 in London, sexual assault on a man, who is now in his 30s, and causing him to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent, in August 2008 in London, sexual assault on a man, who is now in his 30s, in April 2013 in Gloucestershire.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) authorised the charges against him last month, but American Spacey could only be formally charged once he had travelled to the UK earlier this week.
Mr Ikram withdrew an arrest warrant issued weeks ago after the court heard Spacey arrived in London on Monday to receive a postal requisition.
After asking if he could address the defendant as Mr Spacey, the judge said: “You have cooperated I am told with the authorities in New York and you have voluntarily attended these proceedings here today.”
Spacey, a two-time Oscar winner, who is known for starring roles in American Beauty and The Usual Suspects, had previously said that he would travel to the UK to face the charges.
In a statement released to Good Morning America after the CPS announcement, he said: “While I am disappointed with their decision to move forward, I will voluntarily appear in the UK as soon as can be arranged and defend myself against these charges, which I am confident will prove my innocence.”
Spacey, who was artistic director at The Old Vic between 2004 and 2015, smiled again as he left court before being ushered into his waiting car.