Following news that Kevin Spacey has been charged with four counts of sexual assault in the U.K., the producers of one of his new films being shopped at Cannes have issued a statement in support of the disgraced actor.
“While it’s unfortunate that increased negative press is timed with Kevin returning to work, it’s also to be expected,” the producers of “Peter Five Eight” said in a statement to Variety. “There are those who wish for him not to act, but they are outnumbered by fans worldwide who await an artist they have enjoyed for decades returning to the screen. The production has no knowledge or comment on the various swirling allegations, and believe it’s a matter for the courts to determine validity if it exists. ‘Peter Five Eight’ is a film for fans who care more for the art than the scandal.”
“Peter Five Eight” is being shopped in Cannes by VMI Worldwide. The film stars Spacey as Peter, a charismatic yet mysterious man who arrives to a mountainside town with a mission. Spacey also has another film on the market at Cannes, “1242: Gateway to the West,” a historical drama about a holy man who attempts to stop Genghis Khan’s army from invading Europe.
Spacey’s charges were announced Thursday by the U.K.’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which has spent over a year reviewing a file passed to them by the Metropolitan Police.
“The CPS has authorized criminal charges against Kevin Spacey, 62, for four counts of sexual assault against three men,” said Rosemary Ainslie, head of the CPS Special Crime Division. “He has also been charged with causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent. The charges follow a review of the evidence gathered by the Metropolitan Police in its investigation. The Crown Prosecution Service reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings against Mr Spacey are active and that he has the right to a fair trial.”
At least some of the charges are believed to stem from Spacey’s time at the Old Vic theater in London, where he served as artistic director from 2004-2015. Following a cascade of sexual assault allegations against the actor in the U.S., the theater undertook an internal investigation which, according to the BBC, resulted in 20 victims coming forward who claimed he had behaved inappropriately toward them.
Allegations of sexual assault and misconduct against Spacey were first exposed in 2017, when actor Anthony Rapp claimed that Spacey had made a non-consensual sexual advance toward him when he was 14. Rapp later filed a sexual abuse suit in New York, which remains ongoing. Another suit was filed in Massachusetts in 2018, but was dropped after the victim refused to testify. A civil suit filed in 2019 was also dismissed after the plaintiff died. Spacey has denied all claims of sexual assault or misconduct.
The Hollywood Reporter was the first to report the news.
K.J. Yossman contributed to this report.