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Actor Kevin Spacey pleads not guilty to sexual assault charges in UK

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Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Spacey pleaded not guilty in U.K. court Thursday to charges of sexually assaulting three men at least a decade ago.

Spacey, 62, entered the plea at a hearing at London's Central Criminal Court, the Associated Press reported.

The famous actor — best known for his roles in "The Usual Suspects" and "American Beauty," as well as the hit Netflix series "House of Cards" — was charged with four counts of sexual assault in May and one count of "causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent."

Spacey has denied all of the charges against him.

The assaults allegedly happened in London between March 2005 and August 2008 and one in western England in April 2013. During this time, Spacey was serving as the artistic director for London's Old Vic theater.

The alleged male victims are now in their 30s and 40s.

At a preliminary hearing in June, Spacey's attorney Patrick Gibbs said the actor "strenuously denies any and all criminality in this case." The presiding judge then granted Spacey bail and permitted him to return to the United States.

After deliberation on Thursday, Justice Mark Wall set a trial date of June 6, 2023. Spacey was permitted to remain on unconditional bail until then, allowing him to freely move in and out of the U.K. until his trial.

The scandal-plagued actor has said he is "confident" he will be able to prove his innocence in court.

Spacey's career went into turmoil beginning in 2017, when fellow actor Anthony Rapp accused Spacey of making sexual advances towards him at a party in the 1980s, when Rapp was just 14 years old. Spacey said at the time that he didn't remember the alleged incident, but he apologized for "deeply inappropriate drunken behavior."

However, shortly thereafter, filmmaker Tony Montana claimed that Spacey had groped him at a bar in Los Angeles in 2003. And Mexican actor Roberto Cavazos then alleged that Spacey would frequent the Old Vic theater in London, where he would "squeeze whoever caught his attention."

That year, the Old Vic acknowledged it had received 20 allegations against Spacey that spanned "a range of inappropriate behavior" while he was employed as artistic director.

These allegations against Spacey came at the height of the #MeToo movement, after disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein's predatory behavior was exposed. Spacey was subsequently written out of the final season of "House of Cards," and his role in Ridley Scott's 2017 film "All the Money in the World" was cut out of the film, while he was replaced by Christopher Plummer.

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