Kevin Spacey has appeared in court to face an accusation he groped a teenage boy in a crowded bar.
The two-time Academy Award winner was not required to attend the pre-trial hearing in Nantucket, Massachusetts, but he showed up wearing a grey suit and glasses, alongside his lawyers.
His accuser was 18 at the time of the alleged incident in 2016 and worked as a busboy at the Club Car, a restaurant and bar on Nantucket, which is a popular resort island off Cape Cod.
On Friday, Spacey’s lawyer Alan Jackson said the man had deleted texts that supported the actor’s claims of innocence, and asked the court to demand prosecutors turn over a “complete and unaltered” forensic copy of his phone.
According to Spacey’s team, the two engaged in nothing more than “consensual flirtation” during their meeting – and they have questioned why the accuser did not object or try to move away if he was being assaulted.
The case did not come to light until 2017, amid a flurry of sexual misconduct allegations that caused the House Of Cards star’s career to fall apart. It is the only criminal case to have been brought against Spacey so far.
Former Boston TV anchor Heather Unruh said Spacey got her son drunk and sexually assaulted him at the Club Car, telling police that he wanted to get a picture with the actor and went over to talk to him after his shift ended.
Spacey is said to have bought him several drinks and tried to persuade him to come home with him before allegedly unzipping the man’s trousers and sexually assaulting him.
The accuser told police that he tried to move Spacey’s hands, but the groping continued, and he did not know what to do as he did not want to get in trouble for drinking. The man said he fled when Spacey went to the bathroom.
Spacey’s lawyers have called the allegations “patently false” and accused the man of lying in the hope of making money in a civil case against Spacey.
Judge Thomas Barrett has ordered the Club Car to hand over any surveillance footage taken around the time of the alleged incident.