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Actor Kevin Spacey has been granted bail after appearing in a British court to contest sexual offense charges involving three men.
Spacey, 62, appeared in a London courtroom on Thursday where his lawyer Patrick Gibbs QC stated, "Mr. Spacey strenuously denies any and all criminality in this case,” the BBC reports.
The former “House of Cards” star was formally charged with four counts of sexual assault against three men on Monday, the Metropolitan Police Department announced, in addition to a fifth sexual offense charge.
He was granted unconditional bail, meaning that he is not considered a flight risk and there are no conditions or stipulations attached to it.
Spacey has not yet been asked to enter pleas for the charges. Before Thursday’s brief preliminary hearing, Spacey was accompanied by both his legal team and two police officers as they cleared a path for and helped him walk through a sea of cameras and photographers, the BBC reports.
There are five total charges against Spacey. The first two are in relation to a man now in his 40s who alleges that Spacey initiated nonconsensual contact in March 2005 in London; Spacey faces two sexual assault charges in that case.
The second two are in relation to man now in his 30s who alleges that Spacey engaged in nonconsensual contact in August 2008 in London; Spacey has been charged with sexual assault and causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent in that case.
The final charge is in relation to a man now in his 30s who has accused Spacey of nonconsensual contact in April of 2013 in Gloucestershire; Spacey faces one charge of sexual assault in that case.
In the U.K., a sexual assault is defined as sexual touching to which the victim did not consent. The same law defines "causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent" as any non-consensual oral sex, whether performed on or by the victim, any other non-consensual penetrative sexual act performed on the victim not involving the perpetrator's penis, or any penetrative act the victim was forced to perform without his or her consent.
Spacey worked as an artistic director at London's Old Vic theatre between 2004 and 2015, the BBC previously reported. In 2017, at least 20 people came forward with allegations of Spacey's inappropriate behavior.
Spacey had already said in a statement provided to “Good Morning America" in May that he planned to appear in London to face the accusations, according to ABC News.
"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,” he said. “While I am disappointed with their decision to move forward, I will voluntarily appear in the U.K. as soon as can be arranged and defend myself against these charges, which I am confident will prove my innocence."
Earlier this year, Spacey testified in New York in a civil lawsuit filed by actor Anthony Rapp, who accused Spacey of sexually assaulting him at a party in the 1980s when Rapp was 14. When those allegations first surfaced in 2017, the Oscar-winning actor was fired from his role in Netflix’s “House of Cards.”
Spacey had also been accused of groping an 18-year-old at a Nantucket resort, but charges of indecent assault and battery in the case were dismissed by prosecutors in 2019.