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Another darling of Hollywood accused of being a predator. Once again everyone knew: How stories of Kevin Spacey's behavior have long alarmed others in the industry
Kevin Spacey will not stand trail for allegedly groping a teenage boy at a Nantucket bar.
Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O'Keefe filed a nolle prosequi on Wednesday, stating that his office would be dropping their case against Spacey, 59, 'due to the unavailability of the complaining witness.'
That is the 18-year-old man who said that Spacey had reached his hand down his pants one night back in 2016, a claim he said could be corroborated by his text messages.
It was revealed however that the texts on the accuser's phone had been deleted by his mother prior to handing it over to authorities and that the phone itself had been lost at some point in the past year.
Spacey also denied the allegations, which played a part in his dismissal from the film All the Money in the World and his Netflix series House of Cards.
The decision to file nolle prosequi means that the case could be refiled down the line.
House of cards: The Cape and Islands District Attorney's office is not longer pursuing criminal charges against Kevin Spacey (above) for his alleged assault of a teenage boy
Legal liability: The accuser's mother Heather Unruh (above) revealed that she had deleted texts from her son's phone
The District Attorney released a lengthy statement on Wednesday explaining that they decided to drop the case after telling Spacey's accuser they could not move forward at trial if he chose to invoke his Fifth Amendment right.
'After a further period of reflection privately with his lawyer, the complaining witness elected not to waive his right under the Fifth Amendment,' read the statement.
The accuser was then informed of the one other option available to prosecutors should they proceed with the case, and why that option was not tenable.
'The complaining witness was further instructed that the only remaining avenue to continue the prosecution, since grants of immunity may not be made in district court, would be to indict the defendant, immunize the complaining witness and force his testimony,' reads the statement.
'This procedure has several infirmities. One, a defendant cannot be convicted on the uncorroborated testimony of an immunized witness. It is the second consideration that is more concerning. A grant of immunity compromises the witness to a degree which, in a case where the credibility of the witness is paramount, makes the further prosecution untenable.'
This comes just one week after the accuser also dropped his civil lawsuit against the actor.
A court filing obtained by DailyMail.com shows that the young man withdrew his complaint and that the civil case was dismissed with prejudice, meaning he cannot refile that suit.
That move came just days before the three-year statue of limitations would have run out on filing a legal complaint against Spacey, who he claims reached down his pants and groped him at a bar back in 2016.
He was 18 at the time, but admits to telling Spacey he was 23.
Spacey has denied the allegations, and is still facing a criminal charge.
That case has been in jeopardy for weeks after the young man and his family misplaced the cell phone he had been using that night to text with his girlfriend and a group of friends about the alleged incident.
Spacey's accuser had been seeking a jury trial and damages for emotional distress in his lawsuit.
He also asked that the Oscar winner be responsible for his medical and other bills.
Spacey's team had been seeking all correspondence regarding the case that was sent by the civil attorney hired by the victim's family.
That section of the 70-plus pages of court filings states that Mitchell Garabedian was hired to pursue a lawsuit for the family, and accuses the teen of using the criminal case to try and confirm his 'lies.'
Alan Jackson, the Los Angeles lawyer who represented Spacey stated that the boy and his family 'had a significant financial motive to fabricate the instant allegations.'
Garabedian is being asked to hand over all correspondence between himself and the other lawyers at his firm with the district attorney's office.
Jackson also asked the judge that a copy of the contract with the victim's family and the date, time and length of all appointments between the family and the law firm be turned over as well.
There are also concerns about an an investigation Garabedian did into the claims, with the defense expressing concern that they have not seen these reports.
Garabedian had stated that he turned his findings into law enforcement, and now the defense wants to make certain that detectives independently investigated all his findings.
Garabedian was a key attorney for victims of the Catholic Church who sued the diocese. That case was later made into the Oscar-winning film Spotlight, in which Garabedian was played by Stanley Tucci.
This all comes just a few weeks after text messages from a filing in the criminal case were revealed, shedding light on the teenager's allegations.
The young man, who claims he was molested by Spacey at The Club Car in Nantucket back in the summer of 2016, texted his girlfriend throughout the evening, but never left the bar.
'Like he’s hangin around me in the bar. He got my number and asked me to come out with him,' writes the young accuser.
'Are you kidding,' responds his girlfriend.
'Sounds like he’s hitting on you...'
The young man never left the bar however, and would later make light of the incident in a text to his girlfriend.
'He’s grabbed my [expletive] like 8 times,' writes the accuser.
'He’s pissed I’m texting I.
'I told him I had a gf.'
The defense believes some of the texts have been filtered however, with the responses seeming disjointed at times.
The accuser also states in his last text from that series of messages: 'No I’m serious.
'He pulled my zipper down.
'And he invited me to his house.
'I’ll talk to you later.'
The conversation then stopped for some time, and later on the accuser sent 15 messages to his girlfriend, and one to a group of six friends.
His exchange with his then-girlfriend ended with the texts: 'I got the autographs and a hell of a stout.
The texts also raise a number of questions too, with Spacey's defense lawyer having suggested that the conversations seem to have been edited and some of the texts deleted.
These texts do contradict the victim's girlfriend's denial to police when asked if her boyfriend ever said Spacey stuck his hand down the boy's pants.
One message reads: 'Jesus Christ he reached down my pants.'
Police spoke to the girlfriend soon after the alleged victim's mother went public.
'Molly felt [redacted] would be excited to meet Spacey and that he would be "starstruck,"' reads the report.
'Molly received texts from [redacted] after [redacted] met Spacey and Molly could tell [redacted] was excited because Spacey was buying him drinks and Spacey had given [redacted] his phone number.'
Then, Molly said she received a text from the alleged victim stating that Spacey was hitting on him, so she told him to walk away.
She then received the Snapchat photos, which she told police showed 'Spacey touching the front of [redacted's] pants by his crotch.'
The couple next spoke when the victim was running home after fleeing the scene.
'Molly could tell [redacted] was drunk and she felt [redacted] was emotionally worked up.'
She said the two discussed the matter for an hour, and the report states: 'Molly felt [redacted] was caught off guard that a man would hit on him.'
Molly told police however that she never heard about Spacey sticking his hands down her then-boyfriend's pants that night either. She said the first she heard of that was when his mother held a press conference.
She also said lots of people knew that the alleged victim had been hit on by Spacey, and people would often joke about it because no one had heard he was sexually assaulted.
The Club Car owner, Joe Pantorno, 'did not see Spacey assault anyone and no one talked to him about it happening.'
The bartender that evening, David Powell, 'did not see Spacey assault or sexually assault anyone that night.'
It is also noted that he first heard about the alleged victim's story after his mother's press conference.
Claus Bokelman, a waiter at the restaurant, said that 'the whole thing was blown out of proportion.'
From Machiavellian US politician Francis Underwood in House of Cards to crime boss Keyser Soze in The Usual Suspects, Kevin Spacey has played a range of highly believable villains.
Behind the on-screen facade he is one of Hollywood’s most popular and bankable stars, a highly-respected thespian with two Oscars to his name.
Whether gushing about Barack Obama, paying court to Venezuela’s former socialist strongman Hugo Chavez or joining British actor Jude Law on the streets of Belarus to support the democracy movement, Spacey is one of the acting world’s liberal lions.
The humanitarian champion has even set up a charitable foundation in his name to mentor young performers trying to break into show business. He is also a committed Anglophile, lauded by the British arts establishment and awarded not only a CBE but an honorary knighthood for his work at London’s Old Vic.
TV villain: Kevin Spacey pictured with House of Cards co-star Robin Wright in 2013
Yesterday, however, the 58-year-old was plunged into a sex scandal that is inviting comparisons with the uproar generated by the Harvey Weinstein allegations.
Fellow actor Anthony Rapp accused Spacey of sexually assaulting him when he was 14. Spacey apologised but said he cannot remember the alleged incident.
‘The older I get, and the more I know, I feel very fortunate that something worse didn’t happen,’ Rapp said. ‘And at the same time, the older I get, the more I can’t believe it. I could never imagine [that] anyone else I know would do something like that to a 14-year-old boy.’
The comparison with the disgraced Weinstein, whom dozens of women have accused of sexual harassment and far worse, may be pertinent in that, as Spacey himself acknowledged, his sexual behaviour has been the subject of intense debate and rumours for years.
Although Rapp’s allegations mark the first time Spacey has been accused of targeting a child, it’s clear stories of his behaviour have long alarmed others in a famously tolerant industry.
And whether it was unwitting or not, Spacey’s refusal to discuss his sexuality over the years has allowed his fans to deflect stories alleging his targeting of young men as homophobia.
In 2004, eyebrows were raised when Spacey, who was living in London, claimed he was mugged in a park in Lambeth, South London, at 4am but then dropped the complaint.
In 2015, the now defunct showbusiness gossip site Gawker ran a score of emails – sent anonymously by readers – listing the way in which the actor allegedly targeted young men. On that website, a source on the production team of House Of Cards, the acclaimed Netflix remake of the 1990 BBC mini-series, claimed Spacey solicited male crew members in their early 20s for sex in his trailer.
Award: Prince Charles presents the actor with an honorary CBE in 2010
Several sources who contributed to the website similarly described Spacey’s feeling of entitlement as they alleged he pursued young men at studios or on film sets in a way they say suggested that any underlings were fair game.
Another picture that emerged from the Gawker emails is that when he was not working, he would approach young men in bars and invite them to ‘private parties’ that would end in the star making drunken sexual overtures.
A man recounted being at the Sundance Film Festival in 2003 when ‘I felt a hand on my bum at the Martini bar’. The hand belonged to Spacey, he said, who invited him to a ‘swanky’ industry party. A source from New York said a friend texted him from a bar to say: ‘Kevin Spacey is here and he has his hand on my thigh.’
Another New Yorker recalled a friend telling him how Spacey chatted him up in a bar, ‘rubbing his knee (while engaging in completely benign conversation)’ before inviting him to a party. An ex-waiter at a smart Chicago restaurant said a male colleague was once invited by Spacey back to his hotel suite for a party that rapidly evaporated when the star asked everyone else to leave. Aware of the actor’s intentions, the waiter ‘thanked him for the nice evening and left’.
In another alleged incident, Spacey was at Harvard University for a function in the late 1990s and later propositioned a gay male undergraduate in a bar.
When one man, propositioned by Spacey, told him he was heterosexual, the actor reportedly replied: ‘Well, you don’t have to be a professional hang glider to try it once.’
It is all a far cry from the polished image of the transatlantic thespian, as at home in the West End as he was on Broadway, loved by luvvies and royals alike. In 2010 he visited Clarence House to collect a CBE from the Prince of Wales for the part he played in reviving the fortunes of the Old Vic.
Three years later, he received an honorary knighthood for services to British theatre and international culture. Last night questions were raised as to whether he should keep the honours.
Spacey, who had largely lived in London for more than a decade, said he felt like ‘an adopted son’. He still likes to tell US interviewers who question the tennis fan’s support for Andy Murray ‘I’m a Brit’.
Famous friend: Kevin Spacey with then-president Bill Clinton in 2000
Born in New Jersey and raised in California, Spacey started as a comedian, before studying acting at the prestigious Juillard School in New York.
He made his name on Broadway, most notably in a production of A Long Day’s Journey Into Night, with Jack Lemmon who became a mentor. He expanded into TV and film work, culminating in an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor for The Usual Suspects in 1996, and four years later the Best Actor award for American Beauty.
Spacey has, throughout his career rubbed shoulders with the liberal elite. He is a close friend of Bill Clinton. Another acquaintance is Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted US paedophile financier, a one-time friend of the Duke of York. But in his private life Spacey has maintained a resolute silence.
In 2000, he took his ‘girlfriend’ to the Oscars and thanked her during his Best Actor acceptance speech. Few have ever been very convinced. Asked repeatedly if he was gay, Spacey has insisted not.
‘I’ve never believed in pimping my personal life out for publicity,’ he said. ‘Everybody has the right to a private life, no matter what their professions are.’
As Tinseltown waits nervously in anticipation of more allegations, it remains obvious that, once again, the entertainment industry may have been ‘in’ on a secret the rest of the world has belatedly learned.
An episode of the US TV comedy Family Guy once carried a joke in which the baby character, Stewie, runs across the screen shouting: ‘Help! I’ve just escaped from Kevin Spacey’s basement.’
That episode – with a gag that must have seemed meaningless to nearly everyone watching – was aired in 2005.