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Kevin Spacey denies that crotch-grabbing was his 'trademark' pickup move

2023-07-14 21:26
Kevin Spacey has denied that grabbing men by the crotch was his “trademark” pickup move
Kevin Spacey denies that crotch-grabbing was his 'trademark' pickup move

LONDON (AP) — Kevin Spacey denied that grabbing men by the crotch was his “trademark” pickup move as he got increasingly testy under questioning Friday by the prosecutor who accused him of sexually assaulting four men.

In a heated exchange that required the intervention of the judge, Spacey was asked about allegations he had grabbed a man backstage at a charity event in a theater.

“Absolute bollocks!” Spacey replied to titters from the gallery in the packed courtroom.

“Yes, because that’s exactly where you did grab him,” Prosecutor Christine Agnew snapped back.

“Really?" Spacey said as he looked up at Justice Mark Wall. "Did he accuse me of grabbing his bollocks?”

Someone said, “Yes,” and Wall told him to answer the question.

“I did not," Spacey said.

Spacey was in the witness box for a second day in Southwark Crown Court, his final chance to convince jurors that he never assaulted anyone in a case that could affect whether he's able to make a comeback after sexual misconduct accusations derailed his once-stellar career.

The 63-year-old American actor, who is identified in court by his full name, Kevin Spacey Fowler, has pleaded not guilty to a dozen charges that include sexual and indecent assault counts and one count of causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent.

The allegations against the two-time Oscar winner date between 2001 and 2013 when he was at the Old Vic Theatre, serving most of that time as artistic director.

He testified that he never sexually assaulted three men, saying two of them had shared consensual encounters with him and chalked up crotch-grabbing allegations by a fourth as having been a “clumsy pass.”

Spacey objected to the term “crotch-grabbing” to describe what he had done but said it would not have been an appropriate first move.

“I would say in my estimate it is not a grab, not a grope,” he said of what he had done. “It is a gentle touch.”

“The fact of the matter is, Mr. Spacey Fowler, that this is your MO," Agnew said.

The alleged victims all said they only came forward after allegations against Spacey surfaced in the United States in 2017 as the #MeToo movement gained momentum.

Agnew said Spacey had taken advantage of his status as the “golden boy of the London theater scene” and knew that his victims weren't likely to speak up against him.

Spacey said he had only used his position to restore the Old Vic to its former glory.

“I didn’t have a power wand that I waved in front of people’s faces whenever I wanted someone to go to bed with me,” he said.

When asked about the most serious charge he faces, based on allegations that he performed oral sex on an aspiring actor who had fallen asleep or passed out on his sofa, Agnew challenged Spacey's account that the encounter had been consensual.

She questioned Spacey's explanation that he phoned the man out of concern after he hurried out of his apartment. Agnew suggested the man was, in fact, still passed out when the call was made, indicating it was mistake or a pocket dial.

“That's your theory,” Spacey said.

“That's the prosecution case," Agnew replied.

“And it’s a weak one!" he retorted.