Two-time Oscar Award victor Kevin Spacey appeared in court on Monday over allegations he sexually assaulted a young man.
Spacey, a two-time Oscar victor, had tried to avoid appearing in court, with his lawyers arguing that his presence would turn the arraignment into a circus. Spacey has said in court papers that he plans to plead not guilty.
He's accused of groping the son of a former Boston TV anchor in a crowded bar on the small MA island. Spacey nodded slightly when a judge asked if he understood.
After a court hearing that lasted only 10 minutes, Judge Thomas Barrett scheduled the next court date for 4 March.
Upon entering the courtroom, Spacey sat whispering and occasionally chuckling with his attorney, Alan Jackson.
The 59-year-old actor is one of dozens of men in the entertainment industry, business and politics who have been accused of sexual misconduct since accusations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein in 2017 sparked the #MeToo movement.
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The judge granted a request by Spacey's lawyers to preserve the victim's cellphone data for six months after the alleged assault.
In addition to the Nantucket case, two other investigations are underway in Los Angeles and London, where Spacey served as artistic director of the prestigious Old Vic theater from 2004 to 2015. Spacey had argued his presence would "amplify the negative publicity already generated" by the case.
The accuser's mother told reporters in November 2017 that Spacey got her son drunk and then grabbed his genitals.
His career offers dried up after he was accused by actor Anthony Rapp in 2017 of making a sexual advance on him in 1986 when Mr Rapp was 14 years old. She said her son fled the restaurant when Spacey went to the bathroom.
"Coming out stories should not be used to deflect from allegations of sexual assault", Sarah Kate Ellis, president and chief executive officer of GLAAD tweeted at the time. Spacey said he did not remember the incident but apologized if the allegations were true.
On the same day that Spacey was charged with felony sexual assault, the actor released a video on his social media accounts, in which he seemed to be channeling his deceased House of Cards character, Frank Underwood, and lashed out at his accusers and their supporters.