Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey has been charged over allegations of sexually abusing an 18-year-old boy, prosecutors in the US state of Massachusetts said.
District attorney Michael O’Keefe said that Spacey would appear in court in the new year in connection with the incident at a bar in Nantucket, Massachusetts, more than two years ago.
Spacey faces a single charge of indecent assault and battery, according to court documents.
In November 2017, former TV news anchor Heather Unruh alleged that Spacey sexually assaulted her then-18-year-old son after buying him alcohol.
Spacey’s lawyer did not immediately reply to US media requests for comment.
However, the actor released a video on YouTube on Monday, entitled, Let Me Be Frank, in which he adopts the persona of his character Frank Underwood in the popular Netflix TV series “House of Cards” saying “I know what you want, you want me back … You wouldn’t rush to judgement without facts, would you?”.
Unruh told the Boston Globe that she is “pleased that the case is moving forward in the judicial system”.
She said her son “had no idea that the famous actor was an alleged sexual predator or that he was about to become his next victim”.
“Kevin Spacey bought him drink after drink after drink, and when my son was drunk, Spacey made his move and sexually assaulted him,” she added.
The actor allegedly stuck his hands into her son’s pants and grabbed his genitals, she said, adding it was “completely unexpected” and her son tried unsuccessfully to shift his body away from Spacey.
“He did not report the crime at the time, and that was largely because of embarrassment and fear,” she said.
To date, more than 30 men had said they were victims of unwanted sexual advances by Spacey, who became embroiled in controversy last year when actor Anthony Rapp accused him of trying to seduce him in 1986 when Rapp was 14.
In October, Spacey apologised for any inappropriate conduct with Rapp but has not commented since.
‘Let me be Frank with you’
Spacey’s post on Monday was his first tweet since October 2017 when he tweeted a statement coming out as gay after he was accused of molestation by Rapp.
In the video, Spacey appeared to play the role of the character of Frank Underwood, the dangerously ambitious politician in the Netflix TV show, House of Cards.
“I told you my deepest, darkest secret. I showed you exactly what people are capable of. I shocked you with my honesty, but most importantly, I challenged you and made you think. And you trust me. Even though you knew you shouldn’t,” he said.
“I’m certainly not going to pay the price for the things I didn’t do,” the 59-year-old said while standing in a kitchen wearing a Christmas-themed apron.
The video drew an angry response on Twitter, where a number of celebrities expressed criticism over the timing of the post.
The director of the video, Mike Ginn, said that he did not know Spacey would post it online.
“As some of you know by now, I wrote and directed the Kevin Spacey video. didn’t think he was gonna post, was supposed to just be for festivals,” he wrote.
As some of you know by now, I wrote and directed the Kevin Spacey video. Didn’t think he was gonna post, was supposed to just be for festivals.
— Mike Ginn (@shutupmikeginn) December 25, 2018
Actor Patricia Arquette said that the video was offensive to Spacey’s alleged victims.
I’m sure none of the men who were kids at the time of their sexual assaults appreciate @KevinSpacey ‘s weird video. No. Just No.
— Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) December 25, 2018
It is, however, unclear whether the timing of posting the video coincides with the charge announced on Monday.
Spacey is one of dozens of prominent men in the US who have been accused of sexual misconduct, partly as a result of the #MeToo movement that began over a year ago.