Actor Kevin Spacey appeared in a Nantucket, Massachusetts court Monday to answer to charges that he forcefully put his hands down an 18-year-old’s pants back in 2016. During the 15-minute arraignment, the former House of Cards lead pled not guilty to felony indecent assault and battery.
The Oscar-winning actor made headlines in 2017 when multiple men came forward with sexual assault allegations against him, including Rent actor Anthony Rapp who alleged Spacey tried to seduce him when he was 14. Spacey caused further controversy when he tried to twist the allegations into a coming out moment, releasing a statement that glossed over Rapp’s accusation and claimed he did not remember. As a result of the hubbub, Spacey’s role in All the Money in the World was recast, and his House of Cards character was killed off.
Spacey challenged the Nantucket allegations in a low production quality video uploaded to his personal, unverified YouTube account titled “Let Me Be Frank” around Christmas 2018. In it, he addressed fans of House of Cards in character as Frank Underwood. The unsettling monologue made the point that we never saw Underwood die, so anything is possible.
But in arguing his innocence, he also managed to push some buttons someone in his position should never push. “Besides, I know what you want,” he said, in his creepiest Underwood voice, which is one of many things an accused rapist should probably never say. The video has garnered more than 9 million views since Christmas Eve.
Spacey’s judge, Thomas Barrett, set his next court date for March 4, though the actor doesn’t have to appear in person. If convicted of the charges, Spacey faces up to five years in prison.