Elton John Testifies in Kevin Spacey Trial

Singer recalls the actor attending his party in 2001, and the timeline is important
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 17, 2023 8:57 AM CDT
Elton John Testifies in Kevin Spacey Trial
Actor Kevin Spacey walks outside Southwark Crown Court, London, Monday, July 17, 2023.   (Jordan Pettitt/PA via AP)

The ongoing Kevin Spacey trial in London got an infusion of celebrity power on Monday: None other than Elton John testified. As the AP reports, John got roped into the trial because one of Spacey's accusers claims the actor groped him as they were on the way to the singer's home for a party years ago. John appeared in the London court by video link from Monaco, as did his husband, David Furnish. One of Spacey's alleged victims said he was driving Spacey to John's White Tie & Tiara Ball in 2004 or 2005 when the actor grabbed him so forcefully he almost ran off the road.

Furnish, however, supported Spacey's own testimony that he attended the event only in 2001. Furnish said he had reviewed photographs taken at the parties from 2001 to 2005 and said Spacey appeared only in images that one year. He said all guests were photographed each year. Furnish added that Spacey's appearance was a surprise and he remembered it because it was a big deal. "He was an Oscar-winning actor and there was a lot of buzz and excitement that he was at the ball," Furnish said. John testified similarly that he remembered the actor attending the 2001 party because "he arrived in white tie," per Variety. "He came on a private jet and he came straight to the ball."

John also said Spacey spent the night at their house after the event, and he confirmed that Spacey bought a Mini Cooper at the auction held that night for the Elton John AIDS Foundation. He said Spacey never visited again. The alleged victim said he may have gotten the year wrong, but that he would not have forgotten the incident because it took his breath away and he almost crashed the car. The timeline, however, is important because the man testified that Spacey had fondled him over several years beginning in the early 2000s. The incident was the final occasion, he said, when he threatened to hit the actor and then avoided him.

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Spacey said the two were friends and they engaged in some romantic contact but the man was straight, so the actor respected his wishes not to go further. He said he was crushed when he learned the man had complained to police about him and said the man had "reimagined" what had been consensual touching. Furnish said he was familiar with the accuser and described him as "charming," the same term Spacey used. Spacey, 63, has pleaded not guilty to a dozen charges that include sexual and indecent assault counts, and one count of causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent. (More Kevin Spacey stories.)

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