Kevin Spacey defended by good friend Judi Dench

Kevin Spacey, Judi Dench and Jason Behr in The Shipping News (2001)

Kevin Spacey, Judi Dench and Jason Behr in The Shipping News (2001)

In Spain this week to receive the Donostia Lifetime Achievement Award at the San Sebastian International Film Festival, Judi Dench spoke up to defend disgraced actor Kevin Spacey, calling him a “good friend.”

During a packed press conference she was asked to share a memorable moment from her career. She recalled that just after her husband died of lung cancer in 2001, she flew to Canada to star in The Shipping News. Her co-star was Kevin Spacey. She told reporters: “Kevin was an inestimable comfort and never mentioned he knew I was in a bad way. He cheered me up and kept me going.”

She was then asked about how she felt in regards to Spacey and what has happened in his career following allegations of sexual misconduct.

“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,” she said. “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 who has committed some kind of offense, are they always going to be cut out? Are we going to extrude them from our history? I don’t know….”

She continued, “I don’t know about the conditions of it, but nevertheless he is, and was, a most wonderful actor… And a good friend.”

Dench was referring to the fact that even though Spacey had completed the role of J. Paul Getty in the 2017 film All the Money in the World, he was cut out of the film following allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor and his scenes were reshot with Christopher Plummer in the role. The movie went on to receive Golden Globe nominations, with Plummer receiving an Oscar nod.

Spacey was also immediately dropped from his hit TV series, House of Cards, but he was not cut from the feature film Billionaire Boys Club, which released in July 2018, earning only $618 on opening weekend. With the public sending a very clear message about not wanting to see Spacey on the big screen, it seems his career has hit a stone wall.

What do you think about Dench defending Spacey? Has the movie industry (and the public) been too hard on him? Tell us your opinion below. ~Alexandra Heilbron

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Comments & Discussion

  1. Susan Fellows • September 27, 2018 @ 10:10 AM

    I think Kevin Spacey did something terrible but he is a wonderful actor and probably regrets what he did. But we cant condem him forever when we all made a lot of mistakes ourselves which nobody would know except God and if God can forgives us then we should forgive Kevin Spacey. It’s not up to us to pass judgement.

  2. Chris Luna • September 27, 2018 @ 10:14 AM

    I agree with her. If all people in the arts, and otherwise are to be “cut out”, shunned, and blacklisted then it will be a very narrow, banal world with no inspiration. Same with toppling statues, rewriting history, and denying history. It creates a false sense of a perfect world, and we all know it will never be perfect.

  3. Kaney • September 27, 2018 @ 10:20 AM

    We have always enjoyed Kevin Spacey’s professional life, his skills are exemplary.
    While ones personal misbehavings are not to made light of especially when they include harm to another by using one’s power/ position perhaps we should look at a larger picture.
    Mr. Spacey has been punished but should be allowed to practice his craft. Especially in the current climate of a U.S. president who lies and harms and who has been accused of sexual misconduct by many women as well as sexual infidelity, continues to sit in the Oval Office and is supported by the men of the Republican Party. Trump is the quintessential predator

  4. Derek Beaupre • September 27, 2018 @ 10:27 AM

    Dame Judi wasn’t defending him, she was talking about her respect for his acting talent. She was also speaking of his uplifting her spirit through a very rough time in her life.
    IF he did do what he has been accused of, then he is being held accountable.
    But, these accusations and that against a lot of other people, 20,30,40 years after the fact are a little suspicious as far as I’m concerned.
    When I was 14, I was raped by 2 very large male child care workers. Those that were supposed to be there to help kids did the exact opposite.
    What happened to me, in 1975, was disgusting. I didn’t wait years and years to report it.
    I shouted so loud, until someone listened. The Superintendent was called in and investigated. I was physically damaged, and kept stuff for proof. The 2 men were arrested and put in jail(unfortunately for a very short time)In that point in time, it was a new concept for a male to report a rape my other males.
    But, I sure as hell didn’t wait decades to make sure these 2 SOBs would be barred from any sort of work that would involve children ever again !!!

  5. mai willie • September 27, 2018 @ 10:39 AM

    Hmmmmm….verrrry interesting….but not any reason to question the price of tea in China.
    Just saying.
    mw

  6. K Hoover • September 27, 2018 @ 10:48 AM

    Were Mr. Spacey to have been charged and convicted of his crimes at the time it happened, would he have gone on to have such a wonderful career in the first place?

    He committed a crime, got away with it due to the shame most victims of this crime feel, and was able to pursue his career regardless.

    Live by a sword…die by a sword.

  7. Deb Seymour • September 27, 2018 @ 11:02 AM

    I agree that Kevin has a great craft for film. I do not approve of his of using one’s power/position for abusive use of authority. This is something that was just accepted in the past. Moving forward it will no longer be. Taking this into a different setting, does that mean that we will no longer have men in executive positions because they have engaged in abusive use of authority in the past? or does that mean that it will not be acceptable for men or women to engage in this practice in the future and it will not be tolerated in any place of work. I think that is the powerful take away from this movement in this industry. I would also like to not forget that women as well as men that engage in abusive use of authority is not acceptable under any circumstances in any workplace as well.
    Does that mean that Kevin can not practice his craft? My only thought on this is there is punishment but I am not sure it should always be a life sentence.

  8. Stephen • September 27, 2018 @ 11:03 AM

    Let the first person who has not sinned cast the first stone . Kevin is a wonderful actor and I have enjoyed over the years being entertained by him. I would hate not to see him again in the big screen.

  9. Terry • September 27, 2018 @ 11:23 AM

    I agree with Derek Beaupre that Judi wasn’t condoning the crime that Kevin committed. As for the other posters to belittle the seriousness of the crime or discount the depth and permanence of the damage that is done to minors when victimized by predators is unforgivable in itself. Had he preyed on them or upon their children would they be so happy to see him continue on in his career as a successful actor & adored by many?? All too often today’s public is too content to just shrug off too much crime — unless it hits home. I also think that there’s too much adoration of the actors of whose personal lives we know absolutely nothing about. I’m also guilty of it – there are actors I positively ADORE. Do I “really” know them? NO. As a child I too was the target of sexual adult predators – a couple of them even within my own family. Is there any reason I should have thought that my mother would have believed me that her own father was one of the predators??? No way. Yes, I’ve been messed up about things like that happening to me for all of my life & I’ve been in therapy for years. So people — please — never trivialize the seriousness of one person violating the body of another, whether a child or an adult. The lasting effects to the victim are exactly that —- lasting and very often makes up the “whole” of who you become.

  10. George • September 27, 2018 @ 11:35 AM

    One of the many comments that I picked up from Donald Trump in his Press Conference, yesterday, was his opinion that we are in a very dangerous period of history ( this is not a defense of Spacey or his behavior ) when accusations can be made against a person and without a trial or confirmation of guilt or innocence that person can be damned and outed from his or her career and standing in the community . This is all accomplished through the social media using twitter , Facebook and other forms of the social media. It is a period in our history when you are guilty without a opportunity of defense because the accuser can remain anonymous. The one time in history that has similar characteristics is the French Revolution when a person could be accused of a past transgression and the mob would cheer as the head rolled into the basket after being guillotined .

  11. Jeannie • September 27, 2018 @ 11:50 AM

    George, Trump is right. We are living in a dangerous time when people (like Trump) make accusations and others are held as guilty without trial. Trump is the quintessential example of someone who has done exactly that.
    About Hollywood, there is a deep history of child sexual abuse that has yet to explode and these people have been allowed to live in hiding, protected and beyond the reach of laws and morality for a long time. About Spacey, I’m not sure of what happened…will wait until all the facts are laid bare. If he has done something wrong, then he should be held accountable like everyone else–not more, not less. What is crazy to me is that is appears that Americans have a higher bar of morality for their actors than their political leaders and law makers.

  12. Len • September 27, 2018 @ 12:17 PM

    Good to see Judi stand by her friend. If Stacy has done anything wrong then bring him to a real court (not the court of public opinion).. make him pay for his misdeeds then move on.

  13. J • September 27, 2018 @ 12:44 PM

    Read reviews of the billionaire movie on IMDB. they range from movie was boring, to great acting bad writing, etc. the public did not support the movie because the movie sucked not Kevin or his acting. I can’t believe bad concept or bad completed movies get any national release let alone try to make money on the back of controversy. Dame Judy can only speak of her experiences with Kevin and clearly she didn’t and wasn’t part of all the bad evil things he did. Anyone speaking against her saying Kevin wasn’t a good friend, not a wonderful actor, or should continue to be cut out of films does not have the same experience she has had with him = it’s her truth, not yours.

  14. Pietro Antoni De vita • September 27, 2018 @ 1:10 PM

    I don’t care that he is a so-called wonderful 2 time Oscar winner. He is a horrible man. His own brother recounted tales of how terrible he could be and that in the end it would all catch up to him. I suppose as a Catholic I do forgive him as he is hardly the only one caught in his own ‘spider’s web’. But he is no longer bankable and that’s all that matters in Hollywood. It is good that he has some friends standing by him.

  15. Cindy • September 27, 2018 @ 2:33 PM

    I would like to hear from the young guy in the picture above as to what his experience was like working on this movie with Kevin Spacey. I heard he’s more than a little “handsy” with young male actors, whether they’re straight or gay.

  16. Wendy • September 27, 2018 @ 2:45 PM

    In answer to Deb’s question: “Does that mean that Kevin can not practice his craft?” That is definitely how it appears. Can Lance Armstrong compete in the sport he once lived for? Nope. He lied and cheated and there are consequences for that. And there should be consequences for lying and cheating and abuse.

  17. Joyce • September 27, 2018 @ 11:16 PM

    The truth will out! I agree that if he is found to be guilty of these “dreadful acts” he should be held accountable and receive the same punishment of law that anyone else would.
    However, our system of justice allows alleged offenders to be publicly ostracized before he is convicted guilty. Then the public can agree or disagree with the results.
    Whomever commented that this should not be a life sentence, is correct. The penalty for his actions is not a life sentence.

  18. John • September 28, 2018 @ 12:30 PM

    I don’t think he actually said that Kevin committed sexual assault; and at 14 years old, are you trying to tell me that you wouldn’t already know any better?

  19. Bill • September 28, 2018 @ 2:14 PM

    Isn’t what Kevin did to an under age person called pedophila? It’s hard to believe that so people condone pedophilia. Unless they themselves are dysfunctional.

  20. lizzy • September 28, 2018 @ 6:50 PM

    As always, Dench is spot on. She was not talking about Spacey, I don’t think. It’s a huge concern that it’s become really easy to destroy a person’s career and life based on an accusation, or a recognition of a wrongdoing done in the past, or even a perception of such. We all live in a new politically correct world, which was not around 50 years ago and people did and said things that are not acceptable today. The court of public opinion crucifying folks for growing up is a humanitarian concern.

  21. Tracy • September 28, 2018 @ 10:22 PM

    Dench is overdramatic. Obviously we can’t go back through time and replace actors but in the case of All the Money in the World, it hadn’t been released, they had the time and resources to replace him and it was a good decision. Would it have gotten nominations with him in it? Or made money? Doubtful.

  22. Barbara Muszik • September 29, 2018 @ 1:00 PM

    Derek Beaupre: I just read your post and am truly sorry you had to suffer like that by two predators!! I wish those two were punished for longer instead of getting a slap on the wrist more or less. I too had been raped many times by two uncles and should have spoken up loudly about the incidents. But being a little girl of 5 yrs. old until 11, I was too scared to tell my father it was his brothers!! I did not know what was happening to me just that I knew it was something bad. When I tried telling my mother at that young age she told me to go play and stop bothering her with nonsense. I think deep down this is why I resented her after that. I get Judi Dench saying she felt that Kevin Spacey was blackballed from Hollywood and stuck up for him as far as his craft. She realizes that he has to be punished for his crimes in court. For people who suffered and there are many in the old days they never took it seriously or refused to believe it. So we suffer in silence forever knowing those predators got away it!

  23. Domdiguidom • September 29, 2018 @ 2:54 PM

    In what we know details of what Spacey made, there is subject to accuse it about 5 various counts of indictment at least in Canada. What is important to consider, it is that at that time, probably that his influence pushed back his victims or by fear of a legal fight going undoubtedly to become public against a person tucks of contacts giving him the untouchable and intimidating air or still people in the too young period to realize short and long-term repercussions. Probably that after aggression was much more difficult than the moment of the act and it is by accumulating expulsion of feelings because of their impression of them self to have given way to them self in their process to want to resolve the situation before turning over a page towards a continuation with normal concerns in a life so normal.

    For my part I would have no problem in forgiving him so the matter was settled except court between the parts and that the plan of Spacey to be really forgiven of his victims by making actions being able to help his victims and by guiding other people living the same consequences.However, if are incapable to forgive him, it is not an aggression not to forgive and require that justice is made to have finally the internal confirmation of them the same as they are not pitiful ones face a man having the means to be above the laws by using the body and the mental health of people as consumable, disposable material and especially without soulsThus as long as Spacey will not have convinced his victims that it is not any more one except there sexual law, it is thus is black or white and at no grey time thus undoubtedly a person that must assume the consequences to have been a sexual aggressor.

  24. fran • September 29, 2018 @ 4:32 PM

    My god who has not done something bad in the past, move on, I am sure he knows whatever was done IF ANY was wrong, what a great actor, need to see more of him, visit Vancouver BC you are VERY WELCOME Mr Spacey.

  25. Child Victim/Survivor • October 3, 2018 @ 7:47 PM

    In my opinion…. Spacey has been cut from shows/movies and should be until these allocations have been proven in a court of law ( most people would have to post bail anyways and he should not be around children/males unsupervised until he has his day in court ) … if found guilty he should be sentence like anyone else charged with the same offence, do the time, be supervised for life around children/males and anything else ordered by the COURTS …we are not judge and jury …. Allowing Spacey to work again, so the courts can included an order for him to be held accountable, to give a portion of his earnings to victims organizations that help every victim out there that needs it.

  26. Bill • October 6, 2018 @ 1:38 PM

    To Fran;

    You are mixing up talent with a person’s low moralities and their dysfunctionality. Maybe they go hand in hand? Acting talent and being dysfunctional.

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