Kevin Spacey makes surprise courthouse appearance in sexual assault case
Kevin Spacey appeared at a Massachusetts courthouse on Monday to attend a hearing in his sexual assault case.
The disgraced actor — who stands accused of groping a young man at a Nantucket bar in 2016 — sported a gray suit and glasses. According to the Associated Press, his appearance comes somewhat as a surprise as he was not required to attend the hearing and has kept his distance from the courthouse except for a brief hearing in January, which he also tried to avoid.
When he arrived around 10 a.m. ET, Spacey, 59, looked relaxed and was joking and laughing with one of his lawyers. He was wearing a light gray suit with a pale blue button-down shirt and light blue tie with diagonal white stripes. He was also wearing glasses. He did not speak to reporters when he entered the courthouse.
The hearing stems from a felony sexual assault charge filed against Spacey in November 2017, when former Boston TV news anchor Heather Unruh publicly accused the actor of assaulting her then 18-year-old son at a bar in July 2016. The accusation came amid a flurry of other sexual misconduct allegations and claims that Spacey made unwanted sexual advances towards young male actors. The former House of Cards star pleaded not guilty to the charge of indecent assault and battery in January. He faces up to 2.5 years in jail if convicted.
Alan Jackson, Spacey’s lawyer, went on the attack inside the courtroom Monday, accusing prosecutors of lying about being in possession of the defendant’s cell phone. He also claimed that the defendant’s mother, former WCVB news anchor Heather Unruh, deleted exculpatory information from her son’s phone before handing it over to prosecutors, telling investigations “that she had gone through the phone to remove anything related to what she described as [her son’s] ‘frat boy activities.’” He also claimed that the evidence given to police included selective screenshots of longer conversations that “specifically had information missing.”
He is now asking the judge to give his team access to the man’s phone. The Commonwealth has denied any wrongdoing.
The same day he was charged, Spacey released a bizarre video on his social media accounts, in which he seemed to be channeling his deceased House of Cards character, Frank Underwood.
“Some believed everything and have just been waiting with bated breath to hear me confess it all,” Spacey said in the video. “They’re just dying to have me declare that everything said is true and that I got what I deserved.”
“Wouldn’t that be easy if it was all so simple?” he continued. “Only you and I both know it’s never that simple, not in politics and not in life. … If I didn’t pay the price for the things we both know I did do, I’m certainly not going to pay the price for the things I didn’t do.”
Until Monday, he hadn’t been seen publicly since that video.
In police reports obtained by PEOPLE, Spacey’s accuser, now 20, told authorities that he was “texting and snapchatting” while Spacey reached down his pants and repeatedly touched his genitals over the course of three minutes while they were together at a Nantucket bar, where the accuser worked as a busboy.
Her son told investigators that he was the one who approached Spacey that summer night, wanting a photo, and proceeded to drink heavily with the actor after finishing his shift before the alleged assault took place some time after midnight, according to the police reports. The accuser claims he initially lied to Spacey by saying he was a 23-year-old college student.
The accuser said Spacey’s alleged touching went on for about three minutes and that he tried to move away and moved Spacey’s hands away, to no avail, according to the reports. He said that he fled when Spacey went to the bathroom.
At a hearing in December, Spacey’s attorney highlighted the purported incongruities in the accuser’s story and went as far as to act out the alleged abuse, according to audio of the hearing, which was first published by the Boston Globe.
They have continued to attack the accuser’s credibility. According to the AP, in court documents filed Friday, defense attorney Jackson accused the man and his mother of deleting text messages that support Spacey’s claims of innocence, claims he elaborated on in court Monday.
“We now know by this report, supplied today, that at least Heather Unruh — at worst Heather Unruh and [her son] — both went through the phone and they cleansed it. They deleted information that they didn’t want the police to have. They deleted information that they didn’t want us to have,” he argued.
This article originally appeared on People.com