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Kevin Spacey will 'voluntarily' visit Britain to face sexual assault charges
31 May 2022, 16:45
American actor Kevin Spacey has said he will "voluntarily" appear before a UK court to face accusations of sexual assault.
Last week the Crown Prosecution Service charged the House of Cards star with four counts of sexual assault, and one count of causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent.
The charges relate to incidents involving three other men which allegedly took place in London between March 2005 and August 2008, as well as Gloucestershire in April 2013.
Mr Spacey released a statement to Good Morning America announcing his plan to travel to Britain in a bid to clear his name.
He said: "I very much appreciate the Crown Prosecution Service's (CPS) statement in which they carefully reminded the media and the public that I am entitled to a fair trial, and innocent until proven otherwise.
"While I am disappointed with their decision to move forward, I will voluntarily appear in the UK as soon as can be arranged and defend myself against these charges, which I am confident will prove my innocence."
Allegations of sexual abuse against Mr Spacey first surfaced in October 2017 as part of the #MeToo social movement, which began with claims against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein who was later convicted of rape.
Following the claims, which he strongly denies, filming of the final season of House of Cards was suspended and later took place without the double Oscar winner.
Rosemary Ainslie, who leads the CPS special crime division said the charges were brought in response to "evidence gathered by the Metropolitan Police".
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She added: “The CPS reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings against Mr Spacey are active and that he has the right to a fair trial.
Mr Spacey has a longstanding association with the UK, having served as artistic director of the Old Vic theatre between 2004 and 2015.
Earlier this month Mr Spacey appeared at the Cannes Film Festival in France, promoting his film Peter Five Eight.
Speaking to The Guardian before Mr Spacey's statement, Nick Vamos, former head of extradition at the CPS, said British authorities could send papers to the US Department of Justice requesting the actor's extradition.
If the Justice Department concluded there is "probable cause" American police could be instructed to detain Mr Spacey.
Under these circumstances, Mr Vamos added, "they will be under an obligation to arrest him.
"The US Department of Justice will task US marshals to find Mr Spacey and take him to a federal court."