Judi Dench has defended her ‘good friend’, the disgraced actor Kevin Spacey, and criticised how he was removed from Ridley Scott’s movie ‘All the Money in the World.’

Dench worked with Spacey on the film ‘The Shipping News’ in 2001, a film which saw both nominated for BAFTA awards. The actors have been friends ever since.

Dench was cast in the film shortly after the death of her husband, Michael Williams, and told reporters at the San Sebastian Intl Film Festival (where she received the festival's highest award): "Kevin was an inestimable comfort and never mentioned he knew I was in a bad way. He cheered me up and kept me going." She added that making the film was one of her career highlights.

In October, Spacey was accused by actor Anthony Rapp of making a sexual advance towards him when Rapp was 14. A number of others have since come forward with allegations against Spacey, which led to Netflix removing him from the final season of ‘House of Cards’ and his part in ‘All the Money in the World’ being reshot with Christopher Plummer.

In relation to the latter, Dench said: "I can’t approve, in any way, of the fact that – whatever he has done – that you then start to cut him out of the films."

She continued: "Are we to do that throughout history? Are we to go back throughout history and anyone who has misbehaved in any way, or who has broken the law, or who has committed some kind of offence, are they always going to be cut out? Are we going to extrude them from our history?"

Dench added: "I don’t know about the conditions of it, but nevertheless he is, and was, a most wonderful actor. I can’t imagine what he is doing now. And a good friend."

LA authorities recently dropped a 1992 sexual assault claim against Spacey, saying it was outside the statute of limitations. However a number of other alleged offences against the actor are still under investigation, including six cases in London.