Kevin Spacey makes 'comeback' by accepting film award in Italy

Kevin Spacey made his first official public appearance since facing sexual assault charges by accepting an award in Italy on Monday.

The shamed star attended a ceremony at the National Museum of Cinema in Turin, where he received the institution's highest honour - the Stella della Mole Award for lifetime achievement.

Enzo Ghigo, president of the National Museum, and Vittorio Sgarbi, undersecretary to the Italian Ministry of Culture, presented Spacey with the prize, with Sgarbi claiming it represented the actor's "comeback".

The event, which also included a masterclass and a screening of his 1999 film American Beauty, went ahead despite Spacey facing charges including sexual assault, indecent assault, and causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent in the U.K. He has pleaded not guilty to those charges.

The Baby Driver actor thanked museum chiefs for having "the courage, the balls, to invite me".

"Tonight, I consider myself extremely lucky. I've been doing this job for over 40 years, and I've only ever received kindness and support from my fans and co-workers. And I am honoured to be part of this process," he stated.

The 63-year-old also thanked his manager Evan Lowenstein for sticking by him amid his legal woes.

In late October, a jury found Spacey not liable in a separate, sexual misconduct trial involving actor Anthony Rapp but he remains on unconditional bail until a trial in the U.K. later this year.

Rapp's initial claims, made in 2017 in the wake of the #MeToo movement, prompted numerous other allegations that have effectively ended his Hollywood career. He has found work in Europe, however, appearing in Franco Nero's The Man Who Drew God.