Kevin Spacey Makes His First Court Appearance For Sexual Assault Allegation
Actor Kevin Spacey attends his arraignment for sexual assault charges at Nantucket District Court on January 7, 2019. (Photo: Nicole Harnishfeger-Pool/Getty Images)
Actor Kevin Spacey made his first court appearance on Monday morning for a felony charge of indecent assault and battery.
The charge relates to allegations that he groped an 18-year-old busboy in a restaurant on the island of Nantucket in 2016. The accusation was first made public by the alleged victim’s mother, former news anchor Heather Unruh, in November 2017.
Spacey’s representation initially tried to get the actor out of the court appearance — which was broadcast live on CNN — arguing that it would “amplify the negative publicity already generated” by the case. However, Judge Thomas Barrett denied the request.
The Academy Award-winning actor stirred up his fair share of negative press with a bizarre video he tweeted on Christmas Eve where he defended himself against the allegations as his House of Cards character, Frank Underwood.
Spacey appeared at the Nantucket courthouse intending to plead not guilty, but was not asked to enter a plea. The only time the actor was asked to speak during the proceeding was to confirm that he understood court orders that forbade him from contacting the alleged victim.
Much of the hearing was concerned with a video recording pertaining to the incident. Initial reports had suggested the accuser recorded the alleged incident and sent the tape to his girlfriend. However, it later emerged that the clip did not capture Spacey’s hand on the alleged victim’s genitals.
Spacey’s Lawyer, Alan Jackson urged the judge to request that any material — video or text — not be deleted as they may prove Spacey’s innocence. The prosecution dismissed the importance of the messages between the accuser and his girlfriend calling the defence’s request “a fishing expedition.”
The accuser is being represented by Mitchell Garabedian, a Boston lawyer known for leading the prosecution of predatory priests in the diocese, the story of which was told in the movie Spotlight.
Garabedian told The Telegraph that his client was coming forward to encourage other victims to speak out.