Judi Dench defends Kevin Spacey, criticising his ‘extrusion from history’

Dench criticises decision to cut actor from Getty kidnap film over sex-crime allegations

Judi Dench and Kevin Spacey: the actors in London in 2015. Photograph: David M Benett/Getty

Judi Dench and Kevin Spacey: the actors in London in 2015. Photograph: David M Benett/Getty

 

Judi Dench has defended the disgraced actor Kevin Spacey, saying she “can’t approve” of the way he was removed from the recent Ridley Scott film All the Money in the World, about the J Paul Getty III kidnap, and replaced with Christopher Plummer. Spacey’s character was also written out of the Netflix TV series House of Cards after more than 30 men accused him of making unwanted sexual advances.

Speaking to journalists at San Sebastián International Film Festival, where she received a lifetime-achievement award, Dench said Spacey was “a good friend” and had been an “inestimable comfort” and “kept me going” while they worked together on The Shipping News after the death of her husband, Michael Williams, in 2001.

Spacey, who has won two Oscars, for the 1995 film The Usual Suspects and the 1999 film American Beauty, became embroiled in controversy in 2017 when the actor Anthony Rapp accused him of trying to seduce him in 1986, when Rapp was 14. Spacey apologised for any inappropriate conduct and has since stepped away from public life.

Cut: Kevin Spacey as J Paul Getty in All the Money in the World. His scenes were reshot with Christopher Plummer
Cut: Kevin Spacey as J Paul Getty in All the Money in the World. His scenes were reshot with Christopher Plummer

Dench said: “I can’t approve, in any way, of the fact that – whatever he has done – that you then start to cut him out of the films… Are we to do that throughout history? Are we to go back throughout history and anyone who has misbehaved in any way, or who has broken the law, or who has committed some kind of offence, are they always going to be cut out? Are we going to extrude them from our history?” She added: “I don’t know about the conditions of it, but nevertheless he is, and was, a most wonderful actor. I can’t imagine what he is doing now.”

Los Angeles authorities recently dropped a 1992 sexual-assault claim against Spacey, saying it was outside the statute of limitations, but a number of other alleged offences against the 59-year-old actor are still under investigation, including three by police in London. – Guardian/Reuters

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