Kevin Spacey behaved as if he “thought he could groom” one of his alleged victims of sexual assault – and good-looking young men were warned about the “slippery” Hollywood actor as it was “well known he was up to no good”, a court has heard.
During the first day of evidence at Southwark Crown Court in London, the first of four complainants claimed he was assaulted more than 10 times by Spacey over a period of about four years in the early 2000s – saying the actor put the alleged victim’s hand on his own penis several times, and grabbed him on other occasions.
The man, a driver, was “disgusted” with the alleged sex assaults, the court heard. “The first time that he touched me, it was just a massive shock. I immediately pushed his hand off,” he said.
Spacey is on trial accused of 12 sex offences against four men between 2001 and 2013, and has been described by the prosecution as a “sexual bully”. He has vehemently denied all the charges.
As well as hearing from the alleged victim, jurors watched a recording of his interview with police. In the footage, he described warning the star on one occasion that he would “knock him out” on the journey to an A-list party hosted by Sir Elton John – but the actor was “turned on” by this.
In the footage, the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, described Spacey, 63, as a “slippery, snaky, difficult person” and a “very mixed-up individual”. He also referenced his serial killer character in the film Seven, saying: “He’s a bit like that, a bit creepy.”
‘Don’t do that again or I will knock you out’
The man said Spacey told him he could introduce him to A-list stars, and said when he tried to fight back against one of the alleged assaults, the actor replied: “That’s such a turn on to me. You’re such a man.”
Describing one alleged incident to police, the man said: “He grabbed me so hard I almost came off the road. He grabbed me really hard and it really hurt. I pushed him against the door and said, ‘Don’t do that again or I will knock you out’.”
Spacey “would squeeze my bum and would rub my legs”, the man said in his police interview.
He also said he had found Spacey walking around his flat naked on occasion, adding: “It’s not something I wanted to see, to be honest.”
‘It was well known he was up to no good’
The alleged victim told the officer that young, good-looking men were warned about the actor’s behaviour, and said people would tell them: “You better be careful.”
“It was well known he was up to no good,” he added.
When questioned in court by Spacey’s lawyer Patrick Gibbs KC, the man denied being excited by the actor touching him. He also dismissed the defence lawyer when he asked whether the alleged incidents made him question his sexuality – describing it as a “ridiculous question”.
Asked how Spacey’s alleged actions affected him, the complainant said he suffered “shame, embarrassment and shock”.
It “caused me anxiety”, he told the court, adding that it was not easy to talk about at the time so he largely “blocked it out”.
He continued: “I was struggling with the fact that someone had touched me and I didn’t allow them to. And secondly, he was a major movie star.”
The man told the court he made it “crystal clear” he did not like being touched in that way and denied a suggestion that he “sometimes let him do it and… in fact responded to it”.
Continuing his cross-examination of the alleged victim, Mr Gibbs began to ask: “Didn’t what happened between you…”
The man interjected: “Nothing happened between us – he assaulted me.”
Alleged victim denies ulterior motives for making allegations
He also denied that he had jumped on a “bandwagon” by coming forward, or been motivated by money, saying: “I’m doing well in my life. I could really do without all this… some others have been brave and come forward, so I thought it was time for me to come forward and do the same.”
In his police interview, the man said he could no longer watch any of Spacey’s films or TV programmes.
“I can’t watch a movie with [Spacey] in it… I can’t stand him, it makes me feel physically sick,” he said.
The man told the officer Spacey was “pretending to be nice” but was a “predator” who was “aggressive”.
He added: “He was obviously very messed up with his sexuality.”
The charges against Spacey
Spacey pleaded not guilty in July 2022 to four charges of sexual assault and one of causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent.
In January this year, he pleaded not guilty to seven further charges – three counts of indecent assault, three counts of sexual assault, and one count of causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent.
The most serious charge faced by the actor, of causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent, carries a maximum punishment of life imprisonment.
The trial continues.