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Last Updated: Monday, 19 April, 2004, 09:03 GMT 10:03 UK
Spacey plays down mugging reports
Kevin Spacey
"Do I look brutally mugged?" asked Spacey on the Today programme
Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey has played down reports he was mugged at about 0400 BST on Saturday morning while walking his dog in a London park.

Reports in Monday's newspapers claimed he was robbed of his mobile phone and was treated for a minor head injury.

But the Hollywood star told BBC Radio 4's Today programme he was conned by a man who asked if he could borrow his phone before running away with it.

Spacey said he then tripped over his dog and hit his head on the pavement.

"I ended up falling on to the street and hitting myself in the head," said the 44-year-old actor.

It just wasn't on for me not to come clean about my own level of embarrassment
Kevin Spacey
"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.

"But 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.

"I just want to apologise to the police, and any readers and anyone who picks up this story thinking it is actually true."

Artistic director

Spacey initially reported the crime around 0500 BST on Saturday morning and subsequently received hospital treatment for his injury.

He later returned to the police station where he reported the crime and withdrew the allegation.

Police told BBC News Online they were initially looking for a black male suspect of around 19 years of age but were no longer pursuing the case. "That is the end of it from our point of view," said a Scotland Yard spokesman.

Spacey, who won Academy Awards for his performances in The Usual Suspects and American Beauty, lives near the Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park in south London where the incident took place.

Walking your dog in the park is a perfectly normal thing to do
Kevin Spacey
The actor was made artistic director of London's Old Vic Theatre a year ago and is scheduled to announce his plans for his first season on Thursday morning.

Spacey shrugged off suggestions that he might have had another motive for visiting the park so early in the morning.

"There's no reason why this article would have been written if it hadn't been for me and what I initially said to the police," said the 44-year-old actor.

"Walking your dog in the park is a perfectly normal thing to do," he added. "My doggy had to go."

Kevin Spacey
"I tripped up over my dog"

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