Kevin Spacey, the Oscar-winning actor who vanished from public view last fall after he was accused of sexually assaulting scores of young men or boys over years, was back in the news Tuesday with word that British police are investigating new allegations linked to him.
Scotland Yard confirmed to USA TODAY that it is investigating accusations of sexual assault made by three men who came forward in February and April, which would bring the known total of Spacey accusers in Britain to at least six.
Meanwhile, Australian actor Guy Pearce, who appeared with Spacey in the 1997 film "L.A. Confidential" (which garnered two Oscars), stunned an audience Down Under Tuesday when he obliquely suggested that Spacey had groped him during filming.
In an interview with chat-show host Andrew Denton, Pearce, 50, said it was "slightly difficult" to star opposite Spacey because he was "handsy." Pearce was hesitant to talk about Spacey when Denton mentioned his name.
"Amazing actor. Incredible actor. Mmm, slightly difficult time with Kevin, yeah. He's a handsy guy." Pearce added, "Thankfully I was 29 and not 14," as the audience gasped.
Spacey, who turns 59 later this month, has been invisible in the media and persona non grata in Hollywood since last October when he was first accused by actor Anthony Rapp, who said Spacey made sexual advances at a party in his New York apartment in 1986 when Rapp was 14.
Spacey apologized but infuriated many when he seemed to suggest his behavior was due to his being gay, which he acknowledged for the first time. Then he stopped talking and checked into an Arizona rehab facility while his career and reputation fell to pieces around him.
Among other humiliations, he was fired from Netflix's "House of Cards," his Gore Vidal biopic was canceled, he was cut out of "All the Money in the World" was and replaced by Christopher Plummer (who subsequently won an Oscar nomination), and the academy that awards the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences reversed its decision to honor him with an International Emmy Founders Award.
But in Britain, Spacey's legal woes may have doubled.
According to police, "Victim No. 4" came forward on Feb. 8 and said he was assaulted by a man in 2008 in the London borough of Lambeth. The fifth accuser came forward on Feb. 14 and told police he was sexually assaulted by a man in 2013 in Gloucester northwest of London. And a sixth accuser came forward on April 17 to say he had been sexually assaulted by a man in 1996 in the London borough of Westminster.
However, British police as a rule never identify any person who may or may not be the subject of an investigation during that investigation. "Should media attribute a name or profession to the victim or the person under investigation this will not have been confirmed by the Met," spokesman Asim Bashir said in an email to USA TODAY.
But that didn't stop TMZ from trumpeting the news that the three men had accused Spacey, who has already been accused of acts ranging from groping to rape by at least 15 men over decades, most of whom are in the U.S. Some of them were teenagers at the time.
Three other British accusers, who told police they were sexually assaulted by a man in Lambeth and Westminster in 2005 and 2008, also were confirmed by Scotland Yard but not identified.
They have been linked to Spacey because the details of their allegations, but not their names, have emerged in news stories and leaks in Britain.
Unlike most states in America, there is no statute of limitations on sex crimes in the United Kingdom.
Spacey lived in London from 2004 to 2015 when he was artistic director at the Old Vic theater, which is located in the central London borough of Lambeth. (Westminster also is in central London.)
In November the Old Vic announced, after an internal investigation of Spacey, that 20 people had come forward anonymously to accuse him of sexual misconduct between 1995 and 2013, although these accusers have not been identified or linked to criminal investigations.
The most recent allegation of sexual assault against Spacey in the U.S. came in November 2017 when he was accused of groping a then-18-year-old male in a bar in Nantucket, Mass., in July 2016.
Police and prosecutors have been investigating the allegation since it was made but have not brought charges, says Mitchell Garabedian, the lawyer who represents the young accuser.