"I'm very happy Kevin agreed to participate in my film," director Franco Nero told ABC News of Kevin Spacey's role in his Italian movie L'uomo Che Disegno Dio, also starring Vanessa Redgrave

By Jen Juneau
May 24, 2021 12:14 PM
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Kevin Spacey
Kevin Spacey
| Credit: Steven Senne/AP/Shutterstock

Kevin Spacey has booked a role for the first time since sexual assault allegations against him first surfaced back in 2017.

The actor, 61, is set to make a cameo as a police detective in Franco Nero's Italian film L'uomo Che Disegnò Dio, the director confirmed to Variety.

Nero told ABC News that he is "very happy Kevin agreed to participate in my film." The title translates to "The Man Who Drew God" and it's also set to star Nero's wife Vanessa Redgrave.

"I consider him a great actor and I can't wait to start the movie," the director added of Spacey's involvement in his project, which is set to shoot in Italy.

Reps for Spacey did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

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Kevin Spacey Arraigned On Sexual Assault Charge
Kevin Spacey
| Credit: Scott Eisen/Getty

Back in October 2017, Star Trek actor Anthony Rapp initially accused Spacey of making inappropriate sexual advances toward him when Rapp, now 49, was only 14. Rapp, who is openly gay, went public with the allegations in a BuzzFeed article published just hours before Spacey apologized and came out as a gay man.

Rapp said that the then-26-year-old Spacey invited him to his Manhattan apartment for a party in 1986. (They were both starring in hit Broadway plays at the time.) Rapp said he was the only teen at the party and spent most of the evening in a bedroom watching television when he realized everyone had left and he was alone with Spacey.

"He was trying to seduce me," Rapp said of the former House of Cards actor. "I don't know if I would have used that language. But I was aware that he was trying to get with me sexually."

Spacey issued a statement later that same day saying in part that he didn't remember the alleged incident, apologizing for "what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior" and announcing, "I choose now to live as a gay man." (High-profile LBGTQ+ actors like Wanda Sykes and Billy Eichner criticized the statement, with GLAAD cautioning that Spacey coming out should not "deflect" from Rapp's allegation.)

In July 2018, three more people reportedly came forward to accuse Spacey of sexual assault in England, and in August of that year, the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office received a new sexual assault case involving the Oscar winner, reps from the office confirmed to PEOPLE at the time. The office declined to file charges against Spacey.

RELATED VIDEO: Why Anthony Rapp Revealed Kevin Spacey's Alleged Sexual Advances: "I Wanted to Shine a Light"

Massachusetts prosecutors dropped an indecent assault and battery case against Spacey in July 2019 (he pled not guilty), after the victim in the case declined to take the stand, according to Deadline. And in September, Spacey faced additional sexual assault allegations in a new lawsuit by Rapp and another man.

In a civil complaint obtained by PEOPLE at the time, the second man, who was referred to only as "C.D." in the court documents, accused Spacey of sexual assault in the 1980s, when the accuser was 14. Both Rapp and "C.D." were seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages from Spacey.

Earlier this month, a federal judge ruled that "C.D." must identify himself to the court in order to proceed with the lawsuit and keep the trial fair. The judge noted that "C.D." has previously shared his accusations with the press and discussed the incident without the condition of anonymity. 

"The evidence suggests that C.D. knowingly and repeatedly took the risk that any of these individuals at one point or another would reveal his true identity in a manner that would bring that identity to wide public attention, particularly given Spacey's celebrity," the judge wrote in his ruling. "He seeks $40 million in damages. He makes serious charges and, as a result, has put his credibility in issue."

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.