British authorities are considering the formal extradition of Kevin Spacey from the US over four sexual assault charges, unless he comes to the UK voluntarily.
The actor, 62, may be detained by US police on behalf of the UK, so that he can be formally charged.
On Thursday, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) authorized the four charges in relation to alleged attacks on three men between 2005 and 2013 — following a Metropolitan Police investigation.
Nick Vamos, a former head of extradition at the CPS, told the Guardian that formal extradition could take many months, with officials in the US needing to analyze papers sent over from Britain.
British authorities are considering the formal extradition of Kevin Spacey (pictured) from the US over four sexual assault charges, unless he comes to the UK voluntarily
The offenses are alleged to have taken place between 2005 (pictured) and 2013, when Spacey was one of the world’s biggest stars
They would then need to feel that there was a ‘probable cause’ the offenses happened, before finding and detaining the actor.
‘The US Department of Justice will task US marshals to find Mr Spacey and take him to a federal court. He always had the option of surrendering and not contesting extradition,’ Mr Vamos told the paper.
The former CPS official said that it is harder to resist an extradition request in the US than it is Britain.
If he does not contest the process, it could happen within weeks, Mr Vamos explained.
Kevin Spacey outside The Old Vic theater in London, where he was artistic director for 11 years. The alleged sexual assaults are said to have taken place in this period
He added that extradition provides greater protections, as Mr Spacey would only have charges brought against him that had been agreed by the US, as part of the process.
If he returns to the UK and is charged, he could then be back in the US fairly quickly, if bail arrangements allow him to cross the Atlantic.
The four charges relate to alleged attacks against three men in London and Gloucestershire.
Kevin Spacey holds up his best actor Oscar during the 72nd Academy Awards for his role in American Beauty. He posed with Michael Caine, who won a best supporting actor gong
The first alleged attack in London is said to involve a man, now in his 40s, in March 2005.
The actor is alleged to have caused another man, now in his 30s, to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent in August 2008, in London.
And Mr Spacey is alleged to have sexually assaulted another man, now in his 30s, in April 2013, in Gloucestershire.
Kevin Spacey faces charges of four counts of sexual assault against three men
The Hollywood star faces charges of four offences:
sexual assault (Count 1) on a man, who is now in his 40s, in March 2005 in London;
sexual assault (Count 2) on a man, who is in now in his 40s [the same complainant as Count 1] in March 2005 in London;
sexual assault (Count 3) on a man, who is now in his 30s, in August 2008 in London;
sexual assault (Count 4) on another man, who is now in his 30s, in April 2013 in Gloucestershire.
He is also accused of causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent – in August 2008 in London [the same complainant as Count 3].
The actor, who was seen in House of Cards and was the artistic director of the Old Vic theater in London from 2004 to 2015, has denied all of the allegations.
He has won two Oscars. The first was in 1995 for Best Supporting Actor in The Usual Suspects for his role as gangster Keyser Söze.
On Friday, Rosemary Ainslie, head of the CPS Special Crime Division, said: ‘The CPS has authorized criminal charges against Kevin Spacey, 62, for four counts of sexual assault against three men.
‘The CPS has also authorized one charge of causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent. The authority to charge follows a review of the evidence gathered by the Metropolitan Police in its investigation.
‘The Crown Prosecution Service reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings against Mr Spacey are active and that he has the right to a fair trial.’
A spokesman said the CPS has authorized charges against Kevin Spacey, but he has not yet been charged by police.
Spacey is a two-time Oscar winner and known for starring roles in American Beauty, The Usual Suspects and House Of Cards.
He came out as gay in 2017.
The actor, 62, was interviewed under caution by the Metropolitan Police’s Complex Case Team in America back in 2019. They passed a file to the CPS last year.
Mr Spacey did not attend the Cannes Film Festival last week. But he is one of the stars of a micro-budgeted film called Peter Five Eight.