Kevin Spacey’s lawyer called three of the actor’s accusers “liars” during closing arguments in the Oscar winner’s sexual assault trial in London on Thursday.
Patrick Gibbs went on to dismiss one of the alleged incidents involving a fourth prosecutor as “a clumsy trick” and urged the jury not to convict his client, den Associated Press reported.
“A man who’s promiscuous, doesn’t come out publicly even though everyone in the industry knows he’s gay, who just wants to be a regular guy,” Gibbs said of Spacey. “It’s a life that makes you an easy target when the internet turns against you and you’re being tested on social media.”
The ‘House of Cards’ actor has pleaded not guilty to all charges, which include sexual assault and inciting a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent. However, the judge on Wednesday dismissed some of the allegations of indecent assault on the grounds that it was a legal formality.
The charges stem from allegations by four men who claimed they were assaulted in separate incidents between 2001 and 2013. Spacey lived in London from 2004 to 2015 when he worked as Artistic Director at the Old Vic Theatre.
At the beginning of the closing argument, prosecutor Christine Agnew accused Spacey of using his fame to get away with “cruel” assaults. She said they left the four men feeling “small, humiliated and worthless”. Spacey hoped his fame would silence her, prosecutors said.
However, Spacey’s attorney, Gibbs, countered that his client was the victim of a power imbalance and was forced to refute the lies against him.
“With every allegation that is discredited, there grows the possibility, the reality, that false allegations, even seemingly convincing false allegations, do not always, but sometimes, really happen — particularly when fame, money, sex, secrets, shame, and sexual confusion are at stake.” game are shuffle,” said Gibbs.
Spacey’s attorneys spent much of the trial discrediting his accusers. To add to their case against a driver who claimed Spacey forcibly grabbed his crotch while driving to Elton John’s gala ball in 2004 or 2005, John and his husband David Furnish testified earlier this week. Furnish said Spacey did not attend the annual party at her home in Windsor, England, the year the accuser said he was assaulted. John echoed that, saying Spacey had only been there once, sometime in the early 2000s.
When Spacey took the witness stand last week, he said his encounters with the driver and another accuser were consensual. He called the claim of another man who accused him of grabbing his genitals “pure fantasy”. He also testified that he did not recall touching the groin of a man he met in a pub on a night of heavy drinking, but accepted that it probably happened as he charged at the man.
Gibbs opined, “Perhaps in this country we don’t convict people of a crime… of a clumsy act.”
Another man claimed he went to Spacey’s house for mentoring and beer and stayed the night there, only to wake up the next morning to find the actor performing oral sex on him. Gibbs used phone records to cast doubt on this report and showed it The man had continued to communicate with Spacey after the night in question – although he had insisted not to. He had also said the man deleted his social media account and refused to give his phone details to police during the investigation.
The nine men and three women judges are expected to begin deliberations on Monday.
In another case, a civil trial in New York, a jury ruled that Spacey had not molested actor Anthony Rapp when Rapp was 14, while both were relatively unknown actors in Broadway plays in the 1980s. The case was the most high-profile allegation against Spacey and came in 2017 in the wake of the #MeToo movement. Spacey lost roles in various projects, including his Emmy-winning Netflix show House of Cards.
Times Contributor Christie D’Zurilla and Associated Press contributed to this report.