Authorities in the U.K. are preparing to request that out actor Kevin Spacey be extradited from the U.S. to face four counts of sexual assault if he doesn't return to the U.K. on his own, The Guardian reports.
The U.K. announced Thursday that they were bringing sexual assault charges against Spacey.
"The CPS has authorized criminal charges against Kevin Spacey, 62, for four counts of sexual assault against three men," said Rosemary Ainslie, head of the U.K.'s Crown Prosecution Service's Special Crime Division, Variety reported.
"He has also been charged with causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent. The charges follow a review of the evidence gathered by the Metropolitan Police in its investigation," she said. "The Crown Prosecution Service [CPS] reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings against Mr. Spacey are active and that he has the right to a fair trial."
A former head of extradition at CPS, Nick Vamos, told The Guardian that extradition could take months and that the U.S. Department of Justice will have to examine the paperwork sent over from British authorities about the charges.
If the DOJ believes there is probable cause, authorities will be sent to detain the actor.
"They will be under an obligation to arrest him," Vamos told the outlet. "The U.S. Department of Justice will task U.S. marshals to find Mr. Spacey and take him to a federal court. He always had the option of surrendering and not contesting extradition."
Vamos said that the extradition request could take weeks if Spacey does not fight the request and months if he does decide to.
He also told The Guardian that the U.K. could only bring charges against him that a U.S. court agreed could be brought, which Vamos said would offer the actor better protections than simply returning to the U.K. on his own.
Spacey has previously faced sexual harassment and assault allegations, including against gay actor Anthony Rapp, who has accused Spacey of sexually assaulting him when he was 14 and Spacey was 26.
In 2020, Spacey was ordered to pay approximately $31 million to MRC, the studio behind his TV series House of Cards, for breach of contract for violating its sexual harassment policy.