Costner exposed as actor behind sex act claim
Kevin Costner has been revealed as the celebrity accused of performing a sex act while having a massage at a prestigious hotel in Scotland, after a tribunal ruled there was not a strong enough reason to keep his name suppressed.
The Hollywood star was accused of taking off his towel during the massage at The Old Course Hotel in St Andrews, Fife, in October 2004, exposing himself and then performing a sex act.
An earlier legal ruling had prevented his identity being revealed, but the tribunal chairman Nicol Hosie ruled that following widespread newspaper and magazine reports outside Britain, as well as internet blogs, which alleged that Costner was the culprit, his name had already fully entered the public domain.
A lawyer acting for the Daily Mail newspaper had argued that Costnerís had been published in papers including the Sunday Times in Perth, Australia, The National Enquirer and the Himalaya Times in Nepal.
The 51-year-old actor had been on honeymoon with his new wife in St Andrews when he went for the massage.
The 34-year-old spa worker giving the massage claimed she had been unfairly dismissed after she made a complaint to management about Costnerís behaviour.
But just before her tribunal hearing was due to start today the woman, who cannot be named, settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.
Last month, the Scottish masseuse told the tribunal in Dundee that she was "mortified" when Costner removed his massage towel before engaging in a sex act.
"It was disgusting and, even though he was a Hollywood superstar, I couldnít believe he thought he could get away with something like that," she said.
"Kevin Costner abused me and I considered that a criminal act.
"When I was giving his wife a massage afterwards, I wanted to tell her everything."
The management of the hotel had not taken her seriously enough when she complained, she said, and she had not been provided with adequate counselling. The woman said that she was sacked last August.
Costner, whose best-known films include Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and The Bodyguard, is understood to be a good friend of the hotelís owners. He has previously denied the claims through his publicist Paul Bloch.
Speaking from Los Angeles tonight, Mr Bloch said: "This is a dispute between an ex-employee and a hotel; this was never about Kevin Costner."
He added: "I have not even reached Mr Costner. Heís on location shooting so he knows nothing more about this."
An advocate representing The Daily Mail, Laurence Kennedy told the tribunal: "It is not the role of the tribunal to police the question of reputation," he said.
"The newspaper wishes to be free to report the allegations as allegations, not as a matter of fact."
After deliberating for an hour, Mr Hosie said it was unlikely that Costner was unaware of the allegations against him, given the coverage the story has had in the American press and on the internet.
"It is very significant that his name is widely reported in the worldís press," he said. "It is already a matter which is in the public domain."
He added he was not convinced there was a pressing social need convincing enough to allow restrictions to be put in place which would prevent Costner being identified.