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Judge rules Kevin Spacey must appear in upcoming court hearing in Massachusetts

Posted at 4:34 PM, Dec 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-31 17:34:35-05

Actor Kevin Spacey must appear at an upcoming court hearing in Massachusetts, a judge ruled on Monday.

Spacey had requested that he be allowed to avoid appearing in person when he faces criminal charges that he allegedly sexually assaulted an 18-year-old man at a bar in 2016.

Spacey, 59, is a two-time Academy Award winner for his supporting role in the 1996 film “The Usual Suspects” and his lead role in the 2000 film “American Beauty.”

He had submitted a statement to the Nantucket district court that his presence at the Jan. 7 hearing on his charges would “amplify the negative publicity already generated in connection with this case”.

The actor said in documents received by the court earlier on Monday that he is pleading not guilty. Spacey added that he believes he should be excused from appearing at the forthcoming arraignment, the term that describes the process in the US of calling someone before a court to answer a criminal charge.

The Boston Globe reports that defendants in Massachusetts are required to appear for arraignments unless they are granted a waiver by a judge.

Spacey is charged with felony indecent assault and battery.

Spacey was dropped from the Netflix series “House of Cards” and at least one movie after recent allegations he has sexually assaulted or harassed multiple men.

Those developments have largely kept him out of the public eye, except for a video he posted to his Twitter account last week. In the video, Spacey speaks in the style of his “House of Cards” character Frank Underwood saying “I’m certainly not going to pay the price for the thing I didn’t do.”

Spacey was also videotaped Sunday in Baltimore bringing a pizza to a photographer who has been staking him out.

On a video posted Sunday by TMZ, the former “House of Cards” star tells the photographer, “It’s not a big deal. Appreciate what you are doing.”

Spacey then adds to the photographer, “Try to stay warm and have a happy new year” as he walks away.