Elton John and his husband, David Furnish, appeared on Monday as defense witnesses in the British trial of the actor Kevin Spacey, who is accused of multiple counts of sexual assault.
Giving evidence via video link from Monaco, Mr. John was asked about his recollections of Mr. Spacey attending his White Tie and Tiara Ball, an event Mr. John and Mr. Furnish hosted annually at their British home for more than a decade to raise money to fight AIDS.
The event has been mentioned several times in the court case, which began last month. One complainant told the British police that Mr. Spacey touched him several times without his consent, including once in either 2004 or 2005 when the actor grabbed his genitals so hard that he almost veered off the road as they were driving to the White Tie and Tiara Ball.
The complainant said he had then threatened to knock out Mr. Spacey, who had laughed and said that the complainant’s anger turned him on.
Under British law, it is illegal for anyone to identify complainants in sexual assault cases, or to publish information that may cause them to be identified.
On Monday morning, Mr. John, 76, was asked whether Mr. Spacey had ever attended his ball. The singer said that Mr. Spacey had attended once, in 2001, later adding that he didn’t recall Mr. Spacey visiting his home after that event.
“He came on a private jet and came straight to the ball,” Mr. John said during his 13-minute appearance. Asked to confirm that Mr. Spacey had arrived by private jet, Mr. John said he supposed that was the case because he did not think anyone wore white tie on a commercial flight.
Mr. Furnish, 60, testifying separately via video link, said that he also had no recollection of Mr. Spacey’s attending the ball after 2001. Mr. Furnish said that he had looked through old issues of OK!, a celebrity magazine that sponsored the ball, and Mr. Spacey did not appear in any photos after the 2001 event.
Mr. Spacey, 63, has pleaded not guilty to 12 charges relating to incidents that the prosecution says involved four men and occurred from 2001 to 2013. For most of that time, the actor was the artistic director of the Old Vic theater, a major London playhouse. Mr. John told the court that in 2002 he was the chairman of the board of trustees that managed the theater.
The trial continues.
Alex Marshall is a European culture reporter, based in London. More about Alex Marshall
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