Kevin Spacey picked up a career award in Italy on Monday, despite controversy over the sex crime allegations that have tarnished the reputation of the Oscar-winning American actor.
The Museum of Cinema in Turin said it handed the prize in recognition of Spacey’s “personal aesthetic and authorial contribution to the development of the art of drama.”
For the occasion, the 63-year-old was invited to speak at the museum.
“I am surely blessed and grateful and humbled and my heart is very full tonight toward the Museum of Cinema for having had le palle (the guts) to invite me tonight,” he said.
Spacey won Oscars for performances in American Beauty and The Usual Suspects but his career largely ended a few years ago, after more than 20 men accused him of sexual misconduct.
In the run-up to the award ceremony, the Turin-based La Stampa newspaper ran an editorial headlined “Italy, land of plenary indulgence.”
Last week, Spacey appeared by video link before a court in London, pleading not guilty to several charges of sexual misconduct against one man about 20 years ago.
The charges were joined to an earlier five-count indictment related to alleged sex offences against three men between 2005 and 2013, for which Spacey previously professed his innocence.
In another case that played out in the United States, Spacey defeated in October a sexual abuse claim brought against him by actor Anthony Rapp.
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