Disgraced actor Kevin Spacey was overcome with emotion as he accepted a lifetime achievement award on Monday.
The 63-year-old was in Turin, Italy. to receive the award bestowed by the National Cinema Museum, teach a master class and introduce a screening of his critically acclaimed 1999 film “American Beauty.”
The sold-out event was advertised as the actor’s first speaking engagement since his career was halted in 2017 by accusations of sexual abuse, from several men in the United States and the United Kingdom.
“I am truly blessed and grateful and humbled. And my heart is very full tonight toward the National Museum of Cinema for having had the le palle to invite me tonight,” Spacey said, using the Italian word for a certain male reproductive organ that some consider synonymous with bravery.
“By presenting this award, they are making a strong defense of artistic achievement and for that they should be applauded,” he added, while joining the likes of past honorees of the award, Isabella Rossellini, Monica Bellucci and director Dario Argento.
Spacey has been in Turin on location for Franco Nero’s “The Man Who Drew God,” as he cautiously returns to acting.
“What you see in the media is not real life, I’m not coming back to public life because I never left it,” Spacey defiantly claimed to Italian news agency Ansa during a meeting with the press.
“I live my life every day, I go to restaurants, I meet people, drive, play tennis, I’ve always managed to meet generous, genuine, compassionate people,” he continued, insisting, “I haven’t hidden away.”
Fans reportedly lined up to see and speak to Spacey following his master class, expressing support for the unfairly “ostracized” actor to the Associated Press.
Italy’s festa di Spacey comes just three days after the Oscar-winning actor pleaded not guilty to seven new charges relating to sexual assaults in the UK.
The judge agreed to join the seven-count indictment to an earlier five-count indictment, which contains four counts of sexual assault and one of causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent — to all of which he pleaded not guilty last July.
The 12 accused accounts of sexual misconduct relate to one complainant, and concern alleged offenses between 2001 and 2005.
He also previously faced charges by other men accusing him of sexual misconduct in New York, Massachusetts and California, but has never been convicted.
The claims were among a trail of sexual abuse allegations that have haunted Spacey for decades — and which derailed his career amid the #MeToo movement, leading to his departure from the hit Netflix series “House of Cards.”
His next trial has been set in the UK for June 6.
With Post wires.
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