Judi Dench offered up a brazen defense of her “good friend” Kevin Spacey, arguing he shouldn’t be removed from movies amid his sexual misconduct scandal.
Spacey, who is accused of sexual assault and harassment by numerous men, was taken out of the film “All the Money in the World” shortly before its release last year after allegations against him began to emerge. His scenes were then reshot with Christopher Plummer in his role.
“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,” Dench said Tuesday at a news conference in Spain.
“Are we to do what happened when he was replaced with Christopher Plummer? she continued. “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?”
The first accusation against Spacey, 59, emerged in October when actor Anthony Rapp claimed Spacey climbed on top of him in bed and attempted to seduce him in 1986, when Rapp was 14 and Spacey was 26. Spacey has said he doesn’t remember the alleged incident, but that he owed Rapp an apology if his claims are true.
A wave of additional allegations against Spacey followed, and he was fired from his Netflix series “House of Cards” ahead of its upcoming final season.
“I don’t know about the conditions of it, but nevertheless he is, and was, a most wonderful actor,” Dench said, before noting, “And a good friend.”
The Oscar-winning actress, 83, reflected on Spacey being an “inestimable comfort” when they worked together on the drama “The Shipping News” after her husband died in 2001.
She also praised the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements while speaking with reporters Tuesday.
“I think there are many things to be redressed and made right,” Dench said. “It is an extraordinary moment of change, a sea change at the moment. And there are many more parts for women, which is very good indeed, and long may that go on.”
The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said this month it was declining a sexual assault case against Spacey because the statute of limitations had passed. The case centered on an alleged incident in 1992.