The first alleged victim of Kevin Spacey described the US actor as a “slippery, snaky, difficult person” as Spacey’s trial gets underway at London’s Southwark Crown Court, following last week’s opening arguments.

Spacey is on trial accused of 12 sex offences against four men between 2001 and 2013. He denies all charges.

During the first day of evidence, that took place yesterday (Monday 3), the first of four complainants said he was assaulted more than 10 times by Spacey over a period of four years in the early 2000s.

The man, a driver, said the actor put the alleged victim’s hand on his own penis several times, and grabbed him on other occasions.

Jurors watched footage of a recording of a police interview with the alleged victim, in which he talks of fighting back against an alleged assault from Spacey and threatening to knock him out, only for Spacey to claim it turned him on.

The alleged victim told the officer that Spacey’s predatory behaviour against young men was “well-known” and an open secret at the London Old Vic theatre, where Spacey was artistic director.

Today (July 4) the court heard from the first alleged victim’s former partners and brother, who confirmed the first alleged victim had told them about the alleged sexual assaults.

The court also saw footage of the second alleged victim’s police interview, who said the alleged incident had happened at the place where Spacey had been staying, and that the actor kissed his neck, told him to “be cool, be cool”, and grabbed his crotch. Cross-examination of the second alleged victim will take place tomorrow (July 5).