A man who had accused Kevin Spacey of sexual assault has died before the case was able to go to court.
The anonymous accuser – referred to publicly as just John Doe – came forward last year to accuse the Oscar-winner of groping him at a house in Malibu in 2016.
He sued Spacey for sexual battery, gender violence, battery, assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress and false imprisonment, accusations which the actor denied.
The news of the alleged victim’s death was revealed in a filing by Spacey’s lawyers, a filing which the accuser’s legal team have criticised.
“Filing the notice yesterday was unnecessary and contemptible,” they said in a statement. “I’m not surprised, however, that Spacey prematurely filed the notice in an attempt to gain the advantage of a ticking clock.
“Mr Doe’s family must now open his estate at the same time as planning a funeral and processing their grief.”
The only detail of the man in question’s death given by his legal team was that it was “recent”.
His lawyers described him as a “dignified, kind, middle-aged man” who was left “traumatised” by the alleged incident.
It remains unclear whether the case will go ahead in light of the alleged victim’s death.
Spacey was one of the first big-name figures in Hollywood to face accusations of sexual misconduct when the Me Too movement gathered momentum in 2017.
In the wake of the allegations, Spacey lost his job as the lead in the Netflix drama House Of Cards, and was removed from the film All The Money In The World, with Christopher Plummer later garnering an Oscar nomination after taking over his role at the eleventh hour.