“My heart is very full toward the Museum of Cinema for having had the ‘palle’ (balls) to invite me tonight,” Spacey said while addressing the gathered crowd Monday night. “By presenting this award, they are making a strong defense of artistic achievement and for that, they should be applauded.”
Next, the “American Beauty” actor thanked the friends who have stood by him amid the scandal. “I just want to say how grateful I am to my friends and my colleagues and my friends’ friends and colleagues who have flown in to be here tonight … I am moved by all of you being here,” the actor continued, per Deadline.
After receiving the award, Spacey participated in a Q&A-style masterclass focused on some of his most famous performances, including his roles in “The Usual Suspects,” “Seven,” “L.A. Confidential,” “American Beauty,” and “House Of Cards.”
The actor allegedly refused interview requests from American media leading up to the event, but he did make some statements to the Italian press. Spacey said he hasn’t been “hiding” since the first accusations against him broke in 2017.
“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,” Spacey told Italian news outlet Ansa. “I haven’t hidden away, I haven’t gone to live in a cave,” he explained.
“What you see in the media is not real life, I’m not coming back to public life because I never left it,” Spacey continued.
Just last week, the actor pleaded not guilty to seven new charges relating to sexual assault allegations in the U.K., per Deadline. He’s scheduled to appear in court in June 2023 for five previously filed sexual assault charges.
Spacey was found not liable in a $40 million lawsuit in October, which was the catalyst for many other accusers coming forward.
The actor is next scheduled to travel to Rome for the world premiere of his new movie, “The Man Who Drew God.” This will be Spacey’s first feature film credit since the sexual misconduct accusations were filed in 2017.