Actor Kevin Spacey was tearful as a UK jury found him not guilty of multiple charges of sexual assault.
Spacey, 64, faced a total of nine charges pertaining to four men, and included seven counts of sexual assault, one count of causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent and one count of causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent.
After more than 12 hours of deliberation, the jury cleared the actor of all charges.
Speaking outside the court, Spacey thanked the jury and said he was “humbled by the outcome”.
“I imagine that many of you can understand that there’s a lot for me to process after what has just happened today,” he said.
“I would like to say that I am enormously grateful to the jury for having taken the time to examine all of the evidence and all of the facts carefully before they reached their decision and I am humbled by the outcome today.
“I also want to thank the staff inside this courthouse, the security and all those who took care of us every single day, my legal team Evan and Lucy for being here every day, and that’s all I have to say for the moment. Thank you very much.”
The result follows a high-profile trial at London’s Southwark Crown Court, where Elton John was among those called to testify.
One of Spacey’s accusers — his former driver — alleged Spacey assaulted him several times, including once on the way to Elton John’s White Tie and Tiara Ball.
He described Spacey as a “very slippery, snaky, difficult person”, and alleged that he on the way to Elton’s Ball, he grabbed his crotch “really hard and it really hurt”.
“I pushed him against the door and said: ‘Don’t do that again or I will knock you out’,” the driver said, before alleging that Spacey said: “That’s such a turn on to me.”
Spacey, meanwhile, conceded that he and his former driver had a “kind of naughty relationship”, but claimed this incident never occurred.
The date of the incident was disputed, with Elton sharing that he could only remember Spacey attending his Ball in 2001, at which he arrived by private jet.
All accusations against Spacey were alleged to have taken place between 2004 and 2013. Spacey lived in the UK while serving as Artistic Director at London’s Old Vic Theatre between 2003 and 2015.
Two further accusers alleged Spacey sexually assaulted them by grabbing their privates.
One claimed the the actor “was like a cobra and grabbed [his crotch] with such force it was really painful”.
Spacey did not recall meeting the accuser.
Another alleged that, during a “man hug” at Spacey’s country cabin, Spacey had kissed his neck, grabbed his crotch and whispered twice “be cool, be cool”.
The actor denied any wrongdoing, telling the court:
“We all had a lot of drinks.
“This has happened to millions of people who make a pass at someone, got the wrong signals, are embarrassed and try to move on.”
A further accuser alleged he once woke up to find Spacey performing a sex act on him.
“I was taken advantage of, and I believe drugged, [and] sexually assaulted,” he told the court.
Spacey also denied these accusations.
“We had a consensual and, I believe, a very nice and lovely evening,” Spacey said. “If he regretted it immediately I don’t know, I can’t speak for him, but something was weird — it was strange.”
When it came for Spacey’s time to testify, he stated that he was “a big flirt”. He also said that his “world exploded” when allegations mounted.
“I lost my job, I lost my reputation, I lost everything, in a matter of days,” he said.
Spacey has always denied the allegations of sexual misconduct and assault.
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