A London jury acquitted Kevin Spacey of sexual assault in July, bringing a second courtroom win for the Hollywood actor. Now, headlines are predicting his comeback.
“There are people right now who are ready to hire me the moment I am cleared of these charges,” he told a German magazine in May.
Spacey’s troubles, however, aren’t all behind him.
A Baltimore judge on Aug. 28 approved a debt collection agency to list the actor’s Inner Harbor mansion in a foreclosure sale. Spacey, 64, has lived in a $5.65 million waterfront house that’s been listed as “Baltimore’s most extraordinary home.”
The homeowner’s identity had been a matter of speculation. The distinctive house — 9,000 square feet, floating on a pier — sold in 2017 to a Los Angeles company, Clear Toaster LLC. Spacey’s name did not appear on the paperwork.
The actor was at the height of his fame then, starring as ruthless politician Frank Underwood in the hit Netflix series “House of Cards.” Rumors swirled that Spacey had bought the house, but his manager stepped forward and claimed to be the mystery buyer.
Then came the #MeToo movement and Spacey was sued in Manhattan for allegedly making a sexual advance on a teenage boy in the 1980s. The lawsuit was to proceed in either state or federal court — depending where Spacey lived.
“All or most of the real estate I have purchased in my life has been structured in a manner to protect my privacy and safety,” he wrote in court documents.
Spacey told the court in April 2022 that he bought the Baltimore mansion as his permanent, long-term home. The lawsuit proceeded in federal court, and jurors sided with Spacey last October.
By then, the two-time Academy Award winner had already fallen behind in his monthly mortgage payments, according to records in the foreclosure case. Soon after he bought the house, the property records show, his payments were set at $20,230 a month on an adjustable interest rate.
Spacey’s name does not appear on any of the documents. The debt collection agency filed for foreclosure against Clear Toaster.
It’s unclear whether all the foreclosure notices reached Spacey. Clear Toaster was registered to a mailing address on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, the office of Spacey’s business manager. According to the court records, there was no response when the debt collection agency offered options by mail to avoid foreclosure, such as a loan modification, repayment plan, short sale or cash for keys.
The mortgage was about eight months past due as of February, according to court records. At that time, Clear Toaster needed to pay $171,727 to catch up.
Spacey did not respond to emails from The Banner or a letter left at his home. His business manager also did not respond, nor did attorneys for the debt collection agency or Clear Toaster.
The court scheduled a mediation session for August, but the sides could not reach an agreement. So the judge approved the debt collection agency to sell the mansion.
A date for the sale has not been listed online. Spacey, or Clear Toaster, can still pay the money to avoid a sale.
Spacey’s financial trouble goes further. In July, his homeowners association filed a $43,408 lien against the home. Attorneys wrote that Clear Toaster was behind in the monthly homeowners’ association fee of $2,596.
The actor has been out of work for six years since the first sex abuse allegations came out, he told jurors in London. Spacey testified over two days during the trial.
“My world exploded,” he said. “There was a rush to judgment and before the first question was asked or answered, I lost my job, I lost my reputation, I lost everything in a matter of days.”
Spacey has been ordered to pay more than $30 million to producers and distributors of “House of Cards” for costs they suffered and revenue they lost because of the actor. Abuse allegations caused him to be fired from the series in November 2017, and he was written out of the show’s final season.
In the years since, the actor has retreated from public view. He’s sometimes recognized around the Inner Harbor, at the restaurant of the Sagamore Pendry hotel in Fells Point and, in the mornings, walking his dog, Boston, in Locust Point. Baltimore Fishbowl reported in March that Spacey made an unannounced appearance at the Keystone Korner jazz club and surprised the audience with renditions of Frank Sinatra hits.
Then Spacey opened up with a June profile in the German publication ZEITmagazin. He tells of palling around Baltimore with other dog owners for jazz concerts, pub quizzes and bowling.
“It never quite becomes clear why Spacey has decided to break his years of silence with me, of all people,” the writer explains. “Perhaps this profile is part of his attempt to pave the way for his comeback. Maybe he is hoping that a European medium like ZEITmagazin will be less harsh than an American outlet would be. Or maybe it’s just chance — the right email at the right time. Who knows?”
If Spacey’s comeback lies ahead, it starts with the low-budget British thriller “Control.” He has a speaking role in the film as a hijacker — his first part since being acquitted in London.
The film is scheduled for release Dec. 15, according to Variety magazine, and the production company is leaning into its controversial cast member. Spacey’s name alone appears on the film poster.