Kevin Spacey has reportedly pulled out of an upcoming film about Genghis Khan amid his latest sexual assault case.
The 62-year-old actor – facing four counts of sexual assault and one of “causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent” in the UK – had been due to play the lead in an epic about the Mongol Empire warlord.
He has denied the allegations after travelling from the US to Britain to contest the allegations.
‘The Usual Suspects’ actor had been cast in ‘1242: Gateway to the West’, which charts the story of a holy man in a Hungarian castle who battles to stop Genghis Khan’s armies sweeping Europe.
A producer on the movie, Bill Chamberlain, told Variety on Thursday (14.07.22) the Oscar-winner is to be replaced, with another actor taking the role of the holy man in the Péter Soós directed project.
Negotiations are understood to be underway with a new lead who will be revealed later.
Spacey appeared in court in London on Thursday (14.07.22) and pleaded not guilty to the five historical sexual assault charges, which stretch back 17 years.
He had previously strongly denied the allegations made against him by three men, now in their 30s and 40s.
Spacey, on unconditional bail, attended the court to enter his not guilty plea and was told by Mr Justice Wall his trial will start on June 6, 2023.
It is due to last three to four weeks.
The alleged offences are said to have been committed in London and Gloucestershire between 2005 and 2013, when Spacey was artistic director of the Old Vic theatre, London.
His charges include two counts of sexual assault on a man, now in his 40s, in March 2005 in London, as well as sexual assault on a man, who is now in his 30s, and causing him to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent in August 2008 in London.
There is also an allegation of sexual assault on a man, also now in his 30s, in April 2013 in Gloucestershire.
Spacey’s lawyer Patrick Gibbs QC has said the actor “strenuously denies any and all criminality in this case”.
He added the actor had returned to the UK to “establish his innocence” and “proceed with his life”.