New York (AFP) – Hollywood actor Kevin Spacey will voluntarily appear in a British court over sexual assault charges, he said in a statement released Tuesday, adding he was confident he would prove his innocence.
British police and prosecutors announced last week that he faced four sexual assault charges and one charge of “causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent.”
The two-time Oscar winner for “The Usual Suspects” and “American Beauty” was artistic director of The Old Vic Theatre in London between 2004 and 2015.
“I very much appreciate the Crown Prosecution Service’s statement in which they carefully reminded the media and the public that I am entitled to a fair trial, and innocent until proven otherwise,” Spacey said in a statement to the Good Morning America TV show.
“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.”
Variety magazine said that British authorities had planned to seek Spacey’s extradition.
Allegations against him first emerged in the wake of the #MeToo movement that saw numerous claims of sexual assault and harassment in the movie industry.
That prompted an investigation by London’s Metropolitan Police, and a review by The Old Vic of the 62-year-old Spacey’s time in charge there.
Claims against Spacey in 2017 led to the end of his involvement in the filming of the final season of the political drama “House of Cards.”
Spacey, considered one of the finest actors of his generation, lives in New York. He has previously denied similar charges in the United States.