LONDON – A man who says Kevin Spacey subjected him to a torrent of verbal abuse and grabbed his crotch denied claims by the Hollywood star’s lawyer on Thursday that he had concocted the assault allegations, saying he'd kept the “horrific” incident bottled up for years.
The man is one of four who say the two-time Academy Award winner assaulted them in Britain between 2001 and 2013. For much of that time, Spacey was artistic director of the Old Vic Theatre in London.
Spacey, 63, is standing trial in a London court on 12 charges, which include sexual assault, indecent assault and causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent. He denies all the allegations, and his lawyer has suggested the accusers are looking for payouts from Spacey.
The third alleged victim to testify said that Spacey, smelling strongly of alcohol, peppered him with a “machine-gun" torrent of crude verbal abuse before grabbing him by the crotch “ like a cobra ” backstage at a London theater during a charity event in the early 2000s.
During cross-examination, Spacey’s attorney, Patrick Gibbs, alleged that many parts of the accuser’s story were “completely untrue.”
“With the greatest respect, you weren’t there and I was,” replied the man, who can’t be identified under British law and gave evidence out of sight of members of the public. “It was horrific. And I have never had anyone speak to me in that way, ever.”
He said the incident left him feeling “degraded” and “like I was worthless.”
The man denied the lawyer's suggestion that he had sought to “monetize” his meeting with Spacey.
Pressed on why he didn't speak out at the time, the accuser said that “Mr. Spacey was a shining light of the West End” and he feared that “if I say anything, I will be the problem.”
“It was such a horrible thing. I stored it away in a box in my mind and tried not to think about it,” he said.
The alleged victim is the third man to say Spacey aggressively grabbed his crotch, and prosecutors have described the actor as a predatory “sexual bully.”
The jury of nine men and three women is scheduled to hear from a fourth accuser next week. The trial began last week at London’s Southwark Crown Court and is expected to last for almost a month.
Spacey, who is free on unconditional bail, could face a prison sentence if he's convicted.
One of Hollywood’s biggest names until sexual misconduct allegations derailed his career, Spacey won a best supporting actor Academy Award for the 1995 film “The Usual Suspects” and a lead actor Oscar for the 1999 movie “American Beauty.” He ran London’s Old Vic between 2004 and 2015.