Producers of Spacey's latest film "Peter Five Eight" argued that Spacey's fans have been waiting for him to return to the big screen.
There was already some controversy surrounding the idea of Kevin Spacey returning to acting after facing multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and assault, but that reached a new level after he was charged with criminal sexual assault in the UK.
The charges come as Spacey has two films being shopped at Cannes, “12:42: Gateway to the West” and “Peter Five Eight.” In the wake of the charges, producers for the latter film released a statement in support of the embattled star.
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“While it’s unfortunate that increased negative press is timed with Kevin returning to work, it’s also to be expected,” the producers said in a statement received by The Hollywood Reporter.
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“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 statement continued.
The new films mark a return for Spacey, who was effectively canceled from his acting career after facing allegations from several individuals, including “Star Trek: Discovery” star Anthony Rapp, in 2017.
Rapp sued Spacey in 2020 for an alleged sexual advance when he was 14 years old. In a statement dating back to the initial allegations in 2017, Spacey said he didn’t recall the alleged encounter, but if it did happen that way, he owes Rapp “a sincere apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior.”
Spacey also came out as gay for the first time. The case remains ongoing. Spacey has denied all of the allegations levied against him, which included several from his time as artistic director at the Old Vic theater in London from 2004 to 2015.
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Now, Spacey is facing four criminal charges of sexual assault involving three different men between 2005 and 2013 in the United Kingdom, as reported by TMZ. The charges have come after a police investigation, per the Crown Prosecution Service. It is not clear if any stem from the Old Vic allegations.
Rosemary Ainslie, head of the CPS, told the outlet, “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.”
The producers of “Peter Five Eight” echoed those sentiments in their statement, noting, “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.”
They concluded their statement by emphasizing that “‘Peter Five Eight’ is a film for fans who care more for the art than the scandal.”
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