Two time Oscar winning actor Kevin Spacey saw one of his multiple accusers drop a lawsuit against him, but Scotland Yard has now stepped in to question him.
British police have travelled to the U.S. to interview Kevin Spacey about sexual assault allegations.
The Metropolitan Police is investigating six claims of sexual assault and assault against the former “House of Cards” star, who ran London’s Old Vic Theatre between 2004 and 2015.
Variety reported Saturday that British detectives interviewed Spacey in May.
British police don’t identify suspects until they have been charged. Without naming Spacey, the London force said that in May “a man was voluntarily interviewed under caution in America by officers from the Met’s Complex Case Team. He was not arrested. Inquiries are ongoing.”
“Under caution” means the interview was recorded and can be used in future prosecutions.
Spacey’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In 2017, American actor Anthony Rapp alleged that Spacey, who is now 59, had climbed on top of him on a bed when Rapp was 14 and Spacey 26.
After Rapp’s allegation, the Old Vic conducted an investigation into its former leader. It said it had received 20 allegations of inappropriate behavior by Spacey and had encouraged 14 of the complainants to go to the police with the earliest being in 1996 before his tenure there. The theater’s own investigation found that Spacey’s “stardom and status at The Old Vic may have prevented people, and in particular junior staff or young actors, from feeling that they could speak up or raise a hand for help.” The theater said that 20 men had come forward with claims against Spacey.
The award winning actor faces allegations on both sides of the Atlantic. Spacey is still expected to face trial on a charge of indecent assault stemming from the incident. Spacey has also been sued by a massage therapist who alleges that Spacey tried to force him to grab the actor’s genitals.
Kevin Spacey Accuser Drops Lawsuit
A young man who says Kevin Spacey groped him in a Nantucket bar in 2016 has dropped his lawsuit against the Oscar-winning actor, his lawyer said Friday.
Spacey still faces a criminal charge. He pleaded not guilty to indecent assault and battery in January.
His accuser’s lawyer, Mitchell Garabedian, announced in an email that the suit filed June 26 in Nantucket Superior Court has been voluntarily dismissed. No reason was provided either by Garabedian or in the court filing. Garabedian said he would have no further comment. A telephone message was left at his office.
According to the court filing, the suit was dismissed “with prejudice,” which means it cannot be refiled.
An email was left Friday requesting comment from Alan Jackson, Spacey’s attorney. Jackson has previously said the man is lying in the hopes of winning money in a civil case against Spacey.
The legal development could have significance for the criminal case against Spacey, legal experts say.
While there are a range of reasons why a civil suit is dropped so quickly after being filed, it could be an indicator a private settlement was reached and that the accuser may ultimately stop cooperating with prosecutors, said William Korman, a former prosecutor in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office who is now a criminal defense lawyer specializing in sexual assault cases.
“Any settlement could not be conditioned on a refusal to cooperate with the prosecution,” said Korman. “Nevertheless, money is a great motivator for an individual not to follow through.”
It’s also possible prosecutors, upset with the timing of the civil suit, specifically asked the accuser to drop it, said David Yannetti, a former prosecutor who is now a criminal defense lawyer in Boston. The civil suit was filed months into the ongoing criminal case, but such suits are typically filed after a criminal case is decided, he said.
“Maybe the prosecution said it’s either about money or it’s about a crime, but it can’t be about both and you have to make a decision on where you want to go with this,” Yannetti said.
The civil suit was likely filed before completion of the criminal case because the three-year statute of limitations is approaching, added Yannetti.
“We’re operating with very little info, but it’s clear something unusual is going on here,” he said. “Either the prosecution got involved or there was some sort of civil settlement.”
Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe’s office declined to comment on whether prosecutors had any role in the withdrawal of the civil suit or whether a settlement has been reached.
“The criminal case is independent from the civil case and will go forward,” Assistant District Attorney Tara Miltimore said in an email.
Garabedian’s client, the son of Boston TV anchor Heather Unruh, alleged Spacey got him drunk and sexually assaulted him at the Club Car restaurant where the then-18-year-old man worked as a busboy.
The criminal case has centered on the cellphone used by the accuser the night of the alleged groping, which the defense says it needs in order to recover text messages it says will support Spacey’s innocence.
Nantucket District Court Judge Thomas Barrett has ordered the man to hand the phone over to the defense, but his attorney said they cannot find it. The judge has given them until Monday to produce the phone.