ROME — Two weeks after a New York jury sided with Kevin Spacey in a sexual abuse lawsuit, an Italian film museum announced Thursday that the actor would receive a lifetime achievement award and teach a master class there early next year.
Enzo Ghigo, an Italian politician and president of the National Museum of Cinema in the northern city of Turin, said the class and the award honoring Spacey’s contribution to the growth of cinema would take place on Jan. 16, 2023.
The event also is set to include a screening of a Spacey film, though Ghigo didn’t say which.
“We are honored that such a prestigious guest as Kevin Spacey chose Turin and our museum for this long-awaited return to an event with an audience,” he said.
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Previous winners of the Stella della Mole Award include actors Isabella Rossellini and Monica Bellucci, and director Dario Argento.
It’s the second time Spacey has gone to Italy in the wake of scandal. In 2019, just weeks after a criminal sexual misconduct case against him collapsed, Spacey turned up in Rome where he stood next to a bronze statue of a battered fighter at the National Roman Museum and recited Italian poet Gabriele Tinti’s “The Boxer” about a worn-out and lonely boxer.
“They used me for their entertainment, fed on shoddy stuff. Life was over in a moment,” Spacey recited.
On Oct. 21, a federal jury in a New York civil case found that Spacey, 63, did not sexually abuse Anthony Rapp when both were relatively unknown Broadway actors in 1986 and Rapp was 14 years old. The jurors deliberated a little more than an hour before deciding that Rapp, now 50, hadn’t proven his allegations.
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Rapp’s #MeToo-era allegations, and those of others, derailed Spacey’s soaring career. The two-time Academy Award winning actor lost his starring role on the Netflix series “House of Cards” and saw other opportunities dry up.
Rapp is a regular on TV’s “Star Trek: Discovery” and was part of the original Broadway cast of “Rent.”
Spacey previously faced criminal charges in Massachusetts that he groped a young man in a Nantucket bar in 2016 — allegations that were later dropped by prosecutors in 2019 when the accuser declined to testify after pleading the Fifth Amendment.
Three months ago, Spacey pleaded not guilty in London to criminal charges he sexually assaulted three men between 2004 and 2015 when he was the artistic director at the Old Vic theater in London. He is scheduled to go on trial there in June 2023.
A judge in Los Angeles this summer approved an arbitrator’s decision to order Spacey to pay $30.9 million to the makers of “House of Cards” for violating his contract by sexually harassing crew members.
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Spacey filmed his most recent movie, director Franco Nero’s “The Man Who Drew God,” in Turin.
“Now, among all of the cities of the world, he chose Turin for a master class. He couldn’t give us a better present than this,” Domenico De Gaetano, the director of the National Museum of Cinema, was quoted as saying in the news release.
Gaeteno plans to interview Spacey about his career at the January event.
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Story Credit: usatoday.com