Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey has told a jury he was “somewhat intimate” with one of his alleged sexual assault victims but denied assaulting him in a “violent, aggressive, painful way”.
The Hollywood actor began giving evidence from the witness box at Southwark Crown Court on Thursday, when he said he was a “big flirt” and felt “crushed” that the man would “stab me in the back” so many years later.
Spacey is accused of “aggressively” grabbing his first alleged victim’s crotch while driving him to a showbiz party in the early 2000s.
Denying the allegations against him, he told the jury: “He was a lads’ lad. He was funny and charming and flirtatious.”
Spacey said he touched the complainant in “romantic” and “intimate” ways.
He said he and the alleged victim did not take things further because the man “made it clear that he did not want to go any further and that happens at times and you just respect how far someone wants to go”.
Spacey said: “I can’t remember specific conversations we had but I remember the tone, I remember the atmosphere, I remember the laughter.
“We had a very fun time together.”
The actor accepted touching the man but said: “It did not happen in a violent, aggressive, painful way.
“It was gentle … and it was in my mind romantic.”
Asked by his barrister if there was any reluctance from the alleged victim to his advances, Spacey said: “No. The only thing he made clear is he did not want to go any further than we were going and I respected that.”
Asked how he felt after the alleged victim made allegations against him, the House of Cards and American Beauty star said: “I was crushed.
“I never thought that the (man) I know would (so many) years later stab me in the back.”
The defendant, standing trial under his full name Kevin Spacey Fowler, was labelled a “sexual bully” when proceedings began last month.
The 63-year-old denies charges including sexual assault and indecent assault, which are alleged to have been committed between 2001 and 2013.
Spacey pleaded not guilty in January to three counts of indecent assault, three counts of sexual assault and one count of causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent.
The two-time Academy Award winner also previously denied four further charges of sexual assault and one count of causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent.
The trial continues.