Sir Elton John joked he “wouldn’t notice the Queen” in a crowd while giving evidence at Kevin Spacey’s sexual assault trial on Monday.
The ‘Rocketman’ hitmaker and his husband David Furnish gave evidence via video link from Monaco and were quizzed about whether the disgraced actor – who is facing 12 charges of sexual assault from four alleged victims – had stayed at their Windsor home, and also if they recognised any of the alleged victims.
John was asked about a photo of himself which featured one of the complainants holding an umbrella outside the Victoria Palace theatre after a performance of ‘Billy Elliot’, but said: “I’m looking straight forward at my car there.
“When I come out of the theatre, it’s always a mad rush to get into the car.
“Anyone who is on my periphery, I wouldn’t notice them. It could be the Queen and I wouldn’t notice her.”
But his husband recalled engaging in “playful banter” with one of the alleged victims.
Asked if he recognised the unnamed man, Furnish said he did and added: “He was a little bit cheeky, he always had a cheeky smile on his face.
“You could always engage in playful banter with him.”
Asked if he thought the man was “good looking”, he replied: “He was very handsome.”
The couple were quizzed about the ‘House of Cards’ star’s presence at one of their White Tie and Tiara Fundraising balls in the early 2000s, on the way to which Spacey is accused of sexually assaulting his driver.
John confirmed the 63-year-old actor had stayed at their Windsor home after the party, but added: “I can’t remember him coming down after that.”
The 76-year-old singer was asked about Spacey’s travel arrangements for the ball and said: “He arrived in white tie, he came in a private jet and came straight to the ball.”
Asked to confirm he had flown in by private jet, John quipped to prosecutor Christine Agnew: “I assume so. I don’t think he was wearing white tie on a commercial flight.”
The jury at Southwark Crown Court heard Spacey had bought a red Mini Cooper during the charity auction, and John confirmed it had stayed in storage at his house for some time afterwards.
Meanwhile, Furnish was asked if Spacey had attended more than one event, but explained OK! magazine sponsored the fundraisers and it was made clear to guests they would be photographed on arrival, so when he checked back through the archive, the ‘American Beauty’ star was only seen at the 2001 event.
The prosecutor asked: “If someone came to the ball and didn’t want to be photographed, was that wish abided by?”
Furnish replied: “It never happened. It was understood we were promoting a charity involving the eradication of stigma surrounding disease.
“For celebrities wanting to come to our event, it was always understood they needed to be photographed…
“[Spacey] was an Oscar winning actor, there was a lot of buzz and excitement that he was at the ball.”
The trial continues.