Kevin Spacey Thanks Italian Film Museum For Having ‘The Balls’ To Honor Him

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Emily Cope Contributor
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Actor Kevin Spacey was honored with a lifetime achievement award from Italy’s National Museum of Cinema in the city of Turin on Monday, just after pleading “not guilty” to seven more sex charges in the U.K. on Jan. 13.

The museum’s President Enzo Ghigo and Undersecretary to the Italian Ministry of Culture Vittorio Sgarbi presented the actor with the award, according to the Hollywood Reporter. “Tonight we’re witnessing Kevin Spacey’s comeback. The one living through cinema is an immortal man, and it is precisely him that we are awarding this prize to tonight,” Sgarbia said.

The ceremony was Spacey’s first public event in five years since the sexual assault charges were brought against him. The actor thanked the museum for having “the courage, the balls, to invite me,” the Hollywood Reporter said.

“By presenting this award, they are making a strong defense of artistic achievement and for that they should be applauded,” Spacey added, according to AP News.

The sold-out event featured a showing of Spacey’s 1999 film “American Beauty,” which won him the best actor Oscar in 2000, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Spacey also spoke to a masterclass about his life and career, and later met with fans for autographs and selfies.

Spacey did not directly address the allegations against him but thanked his manager, Evan Lowenstein, for his teaching him to “take all the setbacks and mistakes I made and get back on my feet, move on,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Spacey is scheduled to go on trial in the U.K. in June for numerous criminal charges, including indecent assault, sexual assault, and causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent, reported the outlet. In October, a jury in New York found Spacey not liable in a separate sexual misconduct trial involving actor Anthony Rapp.

After the numerous sexual assault charges brought against him, Spacey was fired from his role in Netflix’s “House of Cards” and forced to pay a $31 million settlement with the series producer MRC for sexual misconduct involving young crewmembers, according to the outlet. (RELATED: ‘House Of Cards’ Cuts Kevin Spacey Loose – Show Appears To Be In Limbo)

Spacey has found acting opportunities in Europe. He appeared in “The Man Who Drew God,” which premiered at the Torino Film Festival in December, and plays the lead role in an upcoming Italian film, “Gore.”