Judi Dench has defended fellow actor Kevin Spacey following alleged sexual assault claims against him, describing him as a good friend during a speech at the San Sebastian International Film Festival.
Taking to the stage on Tuesday, the 83-year-old spoke of her close friendship with the actor and her disapproval of much of the backlash against him over the alleged claims.
Spacey was thrust into the centre of the #MeToo movement in 2017, when several claims of sexual misconduct emerged, with actors Guy Pearce and Anthony Rapp accusing the Hollywood star of inappropriate behaviour. The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office announced in early September it would not file charges against Spacey.
As a result of the accusations, Spacey was cut from the film All the Money in the World, in which he played oil billionaire Jean Paul Getty, and promptly replaced with Christopher Plummer. Plummer reshot all of Spacey’s scenes and was later nominated for an Academy Award for the role.
Frustrated that her friend has been cast aside by Hollywood because of the allegations, Dench said that while she doesn’t approve of any of the alleged conduct it’s not acceptable to cut Spacey from movies, Page Six reports.
“Are we to do what happened when he was replaced with Christopher Plummer? 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 has committed some kind of offence, are they always going to be cut out? Are we going to extrude them from our history? I don’t know,” she exclaimed.
“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.”
Revealing how Spacey supported her following the death of her husband, Dench added: “Kevin was an inestimable comfort and never mentioned he knew I was in a bad way. He cheered me up and kept me going.”
Earlier this month is was revealed Spacey would not face charges in relation to an alleged incident that took place in October 1992, with prosecutors from the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office saying the supposed crime was “beyond the statute of limitations” according to the local station KCAL9.
The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office announced the Golden Globe-winning actor would not have charges filed against him. Prosecutors opted not to file charges, stating that the date of the alleged incident, involving a male in West Hollywood almost 26 years ago, was beyond the period in which charges could be brought.
While Dench’s speech at the film festival captured the attention of many attendees, the actress was actually there to accept the Donostia Award, the highest prize granted to an individual by the festival, and to promote her latest feature, Red Joan.
Dench looked beautiful as she posed for photos on the red carpet in a stunning black, floor-length gown and long, black coat over the top.
Adding a touch of sparkle to the outfit, the actress opted for a silver necklace, watch and small studded earrings. She carried a small black clutch and added a pop of colour with a pink lip and touch of blush.