London — Witnesses, including pop icon Elton John, have continued taking the stand in Kevin Spacey’s U.K. sexual assault trial days after the actor sat in the witness box himself to deny allegations brought against him by four men. In his testimony last week, Spacey offered his own version of events and relationships with some of the men who accuse him of criminal acts.
Spacey hasto all 12 charges against him relating to accusations by four men spanning two decades when the actor lived in England. The charges include sexual assault, indecent assault and one more serious charge of causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent.
The accusers, who have provided graphic testimony in the courtroom, cannot be named publicly under British law.
Spacey’s remarkable acting career largely came to an end in 2017 when actor Anthony Rapp publicly accused him of sexual misconduct, but he fended off those accusations and sexual misconduct criminal charges in a 2019 case in Massachusetts.
As Spacey ended his testimony last week, the actor became emotional and reflected on how his career had come to an abrupt halt.
“My world exploded,” a tearful Spacey told the court, referring to the wake of the initial 2017 allegation leveled by Rapp that all but ended his acting career. “There was a rush to judgment and before the first question was asked or answered, I lost my job, I lost my reputation, I lost everything in a matter of days.”
What follows is a summary of some of the key moments in the trial so far:
Elton John takes the witness stand
Singer Elton John and his husband David Furnish testified Monday for the defense, as Spacey’s legal team aimed to discredit an accusation that the actor had attacked one alleged victim on his way to a star-studded gala hosted by the couple. John and Furnish appeared separately and remotely via videolink from Monaco.
Speaking first, Furnish said Spacey had only once attended the gala ball that the couple held annually for almost two decades. Furnish said he had checked photographs of each gala and confirmed that Spacey had only attended in 2001.
When asked about Spacey’s attendance, John said he remembered Spacey flying in at the last minute for one of his “White Tie and Tiara Ball” events, held to raise funds for the Sir Elton John AIDS Foundation.
“He arrived in white tie, he came in a private jet and came straight to the ball,” the singer said.
When asked if he was sure that Spacey had flown in by private jet, John quipped, “I don’t think he was wearing white tie on a commercial flight.”
The singer said Spacey stayed the night at their home in Windsor after the ball, corroborating an account of the evening that Spacey previously recounted to the jury.
Earlier in the trial, the alleged victim, who’d been employed by Spacey as a driver in the early 2000s, claimed Spacey attacked him as he drove the actor to the party in 2005. The defense, in cross examination, said the man’s allegations were inaccurate and claimed Spacey had only attended one such gathering hosted by John, in 2001, years before the alleged incident took place.
The man had previously rejected insinuations by defense counsel Patrick Gibbs that he’d been flirtatious toward Spacey.
Gibbs also asked the man why he kept a “warm and jolly” letter from Spacey in his possession and questioned why the accuser had posted a “cozy” photo of himself with Spacey on social media.
“It’s just a normal photo, two men standing next to each other,” the accuser responded.
Spacey showed work schedules and documents in court on Thursday to support his claim that he was filming outside the U.K., including in Australia, during the timeframe of the alleged 2005 incident.
The claimant said during cross examination that he might have confused the dates of the incident.
Accuser calls Spacey a “slippery, snaky, difficult person”
Earlier in the trial, the same man described the actor as a “slippery, snaky, difficult person” who assaulted him multiple times.
The accuser had said Spacey initially made him uncomfortable by questioning his sexuality, before later becoming “touchy feely” and aggressively groping him when the two were alone together.
The man was employed by Spacey when the American actor served as the artistic director at the Old Vic Theatre in London in the early 2000s. He said Spacey put his hands on his genitals five or six times and he accused the star of “grooming” him.
Almost two decades after the alleged attacks, the man said he still could not bring himself to watch any movie featuring Spacey.
“I can’t stand watching the man. It makes me feel sick,” the man said in a video clip of his interview with police that was played in the court.
Spacey refutes allegations, calls relations with accuser “romantic”
On Thursday, Spacey told the jury that he considered his actions with one of the men “romantic.”
Giving evidence at London’s Southwark Crown Court, the Academy award winner said he had a consensual relationship with one of his accusers that was “somewhat intimate,” acknowledging that he had been flirtatious with the man and claiming their relationship “developed over time.”
“We enjoyed each other’s company,” the actor told the court, adding that he “would have taken the lead.”
Spacey said there was consensual sexual activity between them, but he denied committing any forceful act.
“It did not happen in a violent, aggressive, painful way… it was gentle and, in my mind, romantic,” Spacey said. “It was not what he [the accuser] has described.”
Accuser calls Spacey a “vile sexual predator”
One accuser called Spacey a “vile sexual predator” early in the trial, alleging that the actor had drugged him and performed oral sex on him while he was passed out in Spacey’s apartment.
The jury was played a recording of a police interview with the accuser in which the alleged victim said he had been an aspiring actor and initially made contact with Spacey by writing to him and asking for a mentorship in 2008.
The man was heard in the audio recording saying to police that he was “dumbstruck, starstruck,” when Spacey invited him over for a beer. The accuser said Spacey had made him “feel weirdly special,” and that he’d accepted both the invitation for a drink and a subsequent invite to go back to the actor’s apartment, “because it’s Kevin Spacey.”
The court heard that the two ate pizza and smoked cannabis together, and that the accuser then fell asleep and woke up to find Spacey performing oral sex on him. The man said he told Spacey, “no,” before adding: “Then he stopped and asked me to leave straight away. He said I shouldn’t talk to anyone about what had happened.”
Spacey denied that allegation on Thursday and said when he first heard about the claims from police in 2019, he didn’t recall ever meeting the man in question.
But when he heard the complainant’s initial testimony to police played in court and his reference to waiting at a bus stop after the alleged incident, Spacey said it jogged his memory. He said Thursday that he did then recall a man who had left “hurriedly” after having a sexual encounter in his apartment.
“It felt very odd, like maybe he was making an excuse, and it concerned me, and my memory is that I called this person to see if they were okay,” Spacey told the court. “That was the memory that I have.”
The actor said he believed he did perform consensual oral sex on the man.
Accuser says Spacey told him to “be cool” during alleged assault
The court had previously heard from a second accuser who said Spacey assaulted him after joining a group of his friends for a night of drinking at a pub near Oxford in 2013. The complainant told the court that around 1:30 a.m. on the night in question, the actor invited the whole group back to a rented property where he was staying.
The man said he was looking for a coat to wear outside to smoke when he accidentally let Spacey’s dog out. After getting the dog back into the room, he said he “turned around and Kevin was about five yards away from me.”
The man said Spacey came toward him in a hugging motion before kissing the man’s neck, grabbing his crotch and saying, “be cool, be cool.”
The man said he pushed Spacey away and that a “panicked look” came across the actor’s face when his advance was rejected. The accuser told police it “all happened quite swiftly” and that he became “a bit teary” when he left the house.
When asked by the defense why he only came forward to police to report the incident in 2018, five years after it allegedly happened, the man said he came forward when he learned there were “other incidents involving Kevin Spacey.”
On Thursday, Spacey denied any misconduct regarding the man but admits that made what he describes as a drunken pass at him.
“We all had a few drinks at the pub, we all know what that can be like, I made a pass at him… I accept that,” Spacey said. I’m only happy he testified the moment he told me he was not interested, I stopped.”
The trial began on June 28 and was expected to last about four weeks.