News Article

Unusual Suspect

Spacey admits he faked mugging claim. He says he lied to cover his embarrassment at losing his cell phone to a con man

Kevin Spacey | WRONG NUMBER Spacey got taken by a con man, then lied about it
Image credit: Kevin Spacey: Kevin Winter/Getty Images
WRONG NUMBER Spacey got taken by a con man, then lied about it

Kevin Spacey wasn't really mugged early Saturday morning in a London park; he was just acting. Talking to the BBC, the two-time Oscar winner admitted that he'd made a false report to Scotland Yard, and that he returned to the same police station an hour later to confess, saying he was only trying to cover his embarrassment at losing his cell phone to a con man.

Spacey, who's living in London while serving as the artistic director of the Old Vic theater, told a BBC radio show that he'd been walking his dog at 4 a.m. when a man asked if he could borrow the actor's phone, then ran off with it. Pursuing the thief, Spacey said he tripped over the pooch. ''I ended up falling on to the street and hitting myself in the head,'' he said. ''Now I'm bleeding relatively profusely, I'm extremely upset and I feel like the biggest fool that has ever lived. I fell for a con and I was incredibly embarrassed by it, so I went to the police and said I'd been mugged.''

After being treated and released at a local hospital, Spacey said he felt remorse and decided to correct the falsehood (though not before some British papers had rushed to publish his initial account of the incident). ''There's a difference between assault and theft, and it just wasn't on for me not to come clean about my own level of embarrassment and being humble at the fact that I got taken by the oldest con going,'' Spacey said. ''I just want to apologize to the police, and any readers and anyone who picks up this story thinking it is actually true.'' For their part, the police said they were no longer pursuing the case. ''That is the end of it from our point of view,'' a Scotland Yard spokesman told the BBC.

Originally posted Apr 19, 2004