LONDON – British authorities have authorized criminal charges against Kevin Spacey on four counts of sexual assault against three men, the country’s Crown Prosecution Service announced in a news release on Thursday.
Rosemary Ainslie, head of the service’s special crime division, said in the release that the service had also authorized one charge against Mr. Spacey, 62, of “causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent.”
The authorization of charges followed a review of the evidence collected by London’s police force. Mr. Spacey cannot be formally charged unless he enters England or Wales, a spokesman for the service said in a telephone interview. The spokesman declined to comment on whether the service would pursue extradition proceedings if that did not occur.
The news release said the charges concerned three complainants. The incidents dated from March 2005, August 2008 and April 2013, it added – a time when Mr. Spacey was artistic director of the Old Vic theater in London. All the incidents occurred in London, except one from 2013, which occurred in Gloucestershire, England. The Metropolitan Police said that one of the men was now “in his 40s” and that the other two were now in their 30s, but did not provide their exact ages.
Representatives for Mr. Spacey did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The first person to publicly accuse Mr. Spacey of sexual misconduct was actor Anthony Rapp, who said in 2017 that Mr. Spacey had made unwanted sexual advances toward him in the 1980s, when he was 14 years old.
Soon after that a former television anchor came forward to accuse Mr. Spacey of sexually assaulting her son, and then 20 people who worked with Mr. Spacey at the Old Vic theater in London, where he was artistic director for 11 years, accused him of inappropriate behavior.
The theater commissioned an independent investigation, which Mr. Spacey did not take part in, and issued a report that concluded that “his stardom and status at the Old Vic may have prevented people, and in particular junior staff or young actors, from feeling that they could speak up or raise a hand for help. ”
The report said that the theater had not been able to independently verify the allegations. But some actors and members of the staff did go public. One actor, Roberto Cavazos, wrote on Facebook that he “had a couple of nasty encounters with Spacey that were close to being called harassment” at the theater. “It seems that it only took a male under 30 to make Mr. Spacey feel free to touch us,” Mr. Cavazos wrote.
The Old Vic said in a statement that it could not comment on ongoing criminal proceedings.
In 2018, Mr. Spacey was charged with the sexual assault of the television anchor’s 18-year-old son in Nantucket, Mass. Prosecutors dropped the case when the accuser invoked the Fifth Amendment and refused to continue testifying.
A massage therapist sued Mr. Spacey in California in 2019, accusing him of groping and trying to kiss him before offering him oral sex during a massage. The accuser died unexpectedly ahead of the trial and the case was dismissed when his estate dropped the lawsuit.
Mr. Spacey is a two-time Academy Award winner. He won the Best Actor Oscar in 2000 for his work in “American Beauty,” and in 1996 he won the Best Supporting Actor for “The Usual Suspects.” He was also a prominent stage actor, winning a Tony Award in 1991 as a featured actor in “Lost in Yonkers,” and he was the host of the Tony Awards in 2017.
But he had a rapid fall from grace after the accusations by Mr. Rapp, who has an ongoing lawsuit against him, which were followed by more accusations. After Mr. Rapp’s allegations were first published in BuzzFeed, Mr. Spacey released a statement saying that he did not recall the episode but apologized for what he said “would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior.” In court papers, Mr. Spacey denied Mr. Rapp’s allegations that when Mr. Rapp was underage, Mr. Spacey had grabbed his buttocks and lifted him onto a bed.
Mr. Spacey appeared in federal court in Manhattan on Thursday for a hearing about the proper venue for Mr. Rapp’s lawsuit. As he left the courthouse, Mr. Spacey declined to acknowledge reporters’ questions about developments in Britain, according to The New York Post.
TV and film producers started dropping Mr. Spacey from projects after Mr. Rapp went public and more allegations followed, including from the Netflix political drama “House of Cards,” which finished its run without the actor. But more recently, he has found roles in smaller films, including an Italian feature and an American thriller.
In January, Croatian newspapers reported that Mr. Spacey was shooting a movie in the country in which he played Franjo Tudjman, the onetime Communist general who led Croatia to independence.
This month, Deadline reported that he had signed up for a historical drama called “1242 – Gateway to the West” scheduled to start shooting in Hungary and Mongolia in October. The movie would tell the story of one of Genghis Khan’s grandsons. It was being sold at the Cannes Film Festival, Deadline added. His new American thriller was also being sold at Cannes, according to Rolling Stone.
Alex Marshall reported from London, and Julia Jacobs from New York. Susan Beachy contributed research.