Kevin Spacey appeared in the UK’s historic Old Bailey criminal court on Thursday morning, where he pleaded not guilty to all five counts of sexual assault. Their UK trial will begin on June 6, 2023, and is expected to last three to four weeks.
The actor has been accused under his full name of Kevin Spacey Fowler and was addressed as Mr Fowler by Mr Justice Wall, who dressed in the traditional red robe and curly white wig worn by legal professionals in UK courts. presided over the room. As is customary in British criminal courts, the case is listed as R v Fowler, with the “R” standing for Regina, meaning Queen Elizabeth II. It is read aloud as “Queen vs. Fowler”.
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Spacey wore a light blue suit and tie and walked through the front entrance to the Old Bailey, accompanied by security and his legal team, including Barrister Patrick Gibbs QC and Solicitor Oliver Schneider-Sikorsky, as well as a few other unidentified individuals. One of whom is believed to be a preacher. The actor and his crew went straight inside the courthouse to a conference room guarded by a uniformed policeman, possibly to keep the press waiting crowd out, rather than concerns about Spacey’s absconding, as he is currently out on unconditional bail. .
Around 9.40 pm the actors went to Court Room 1 and were taken to the dock in front of the judge’s bench. He spent a moment surveying the historic wood-paneled room, which almost looks like the set of a legal drama, before taking his seat.
At Mr Justice Wall’s instructions, Spacey confirmed his name, date of birth and pleaded “not guilty” in all five counts, which were read out in detail by a court clerk.
The charges against Spacey include four counts of sexual assault against three men – now in their 30s and 40s – between 2005 and 2013. He has also been charged with “engaging in sexual activity that enters a person without consent.”
This was followed by some discussion between the judge and Mr Gibbs about the date of the trial, with Mr Gibbs initially requesting September 2023, partly because of scheduling conflicts in his diary. The judge, however, said that if the trial does not take place next spring, the following available date would be November 2023, more than 15 months away, in such a long period that the judge said he considered it “unjustified.”
Mr Gibbs asked Spacey for permission to speak privately at the dock, which was granted by Mr Justice Wall, after which the barrister confirmed they could agree on a June hearing date. The trial is scheduled to be held at Southwark Crown Court, unless there are scheduling issues, in which case it will move to the Old Bailey.
The judge also confirmed that the Crown Prosecution Service had no objection to Spacey’s continued unconditional bail, which he did not. This means that he is free to travel abroad including. However Mr Justice Wall reminded Spacey that his duty for trial is to “come to court” and that any failure to attend a listed court hearing is a criminal offense.
“Thank you, my god,” Spacey replied before exiting the dock, followed by his crew. He repaired the conference room next door, where he waited for about 30 minutes. Spacey’s attorney then coordinated with security how to get Spacey in and out of the courthouse to the waiting towncar, which was surrounded by photographers and admitted members of the public. As the actor exited, the crowd proceeded around his car, a police officer driving him away.
Last month the actor appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court to determine whether his case would be heard there or, as mandated for more serious offences, sent to Crown Court.
Deputy Chief Magistrate Tan Ikram determined that the case would require a hearing at a Crown Court and heard a petition and preparation for a hearing at Southwark Crown Court. However, about a week ago the venue was quietly changed to the Central Criminal Court for England and Wales – renamed the Old Bailey. No reason was given for the switch but the Old Bailey is usually the location of more high profile cases.
The venue has also appeared in several film and TV shows, including the director’s cut of “V for Vendetta” and “Justice League”, in which Wonder Woman, played by Gal Gadot, foils a terrorist plot in court.
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