Kevin Spacey has played many fictional roles in his four-decade career – how he must wish his next appearance was one of them.
On Monday, the 59-year-old actor will find his stage is the dock of a Massachusetts court room as he appears accused of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old man in a bar in 2016.
The script this time will be a legal one, as the Oscar-winning actor responds to charges of felony indecent assault and battery.
In court documents released last week, Spacey insisted he would deny the charges and requested the judge let him avoid Monday’s hearing because his presence would “amplify the negative publicity already generated”.
However that request was denied and as a result he will appear at Nantucket District Court to be arraigned.
The allegations were made by the son of a former TV presenter who claimed the Oscar-winning actor sexually assaulted him at Nantucket’s Club Car Restaurant in July 2016.
Amid other claims of assault or harassment – some at The Old Vic theatre in London where Spacey had been artistic director – he was dropped from House of Cards and other roles.
Shortly after the first accusations arose the actor’s spokesperson confirmed he was “taking the time necessary to seek evaluation and treatment”, though for what was unclear.
Since then he has been largely absent from the public eye.
However on Christmas Eve a video was released on his official Twitter account which appeared to feature the actor reprising his role as Frank Underwood from House of Cards, insisting: “I’m certainly not going to pay the price for the thing I didn’t do.”
He went on to promise a comeback saying, “We’re not done, no matter what anyone says. And besides, I know what you want. You want me back.”
Whether that comeback becomes a reality will be down to the American justice system.