Internationally renowned actor Kevin Spacey, aged 63, steadfastly maintained his innocence in a London courtroom today, pleading not guilty to a sweeping array of allegations including sexual assault, indecent assault, and forcefully compelling an individual to engage in non-consensual sexual activity.
The charges hanging over Spacey's head could potentially translate into a hefty prison sentence if the jury returns a guilty verdict. Even as he faced his accusers, the embattled actor retained his Hollywood charm, nodding and flashing smiles at the jury pool.
The presiding judge, Justice Mark Wall, reminded the potential jurors of Spacey's celebrity status, acknowledging that they may recognize the actor from his long and illustrious filmography.
Jury Selection Concludes for Spacey Trial
The Southwark Crown Court was bustling as over two dozen potential jurors filled the courtroom.
Without any objections from either the prosecution or the defense, the first 14 jurors were accepted and seated. An additional 13 individuals were subsequently excused from duty. The final jury consisted of nine men and five women, including two alternates, who stood firm as they were sworn in, promising to “faithfully try the defendant and give true verdicts according to the evidence”.
On trial, Spacey exuded a quiet confidence, his hands serenely clasped behind his back. The actor, currently free on bail, arrived punctually at the court, two hours ahead of the scheduled start of the trial, which is expected to unfold over a span of four weeks.
Spacey's hopeful belief is that an acquittal could serve as a lifeline to his stalled acting career. His reputation has suffered enormously since the first sexual misconduct allegations against him came to light. He remains best known for his role in the movie “The Usual Suspects,” for which he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1995.
The allegations Spacey is currently facing concern a series of incidents dating from 2001 to 2013. This timeline coincides with his tenure as artistic director of the Old Vic Theatre in Britain, a position he held until 2015.
His career took a nosedive amidst the #MeToo movement. His character, Frank Underwood, was written out of the critically acclaimed Netflix series “House of Cards”. Additionally, Spacey's role in the film “All the Money in the World” was expunged and the scenes reshot with Christopher Plummer stepping into his shoes.