Kevin Spacey Weeps as He's Found Not Guilty

Actor is acquitted of sexual assault charges by a London jury
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 26, 2023 9:35 AM CDT
Kevin Spacey Weeps as He's Found Not Guilty
Actor Kevin Spacey walks outside Southwark Crown Court in London on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)
UPDATE Jul 26, 2023 9:35 AM CDT

Kevin Spacey didn't just get emotional inside a London courtroom Wednesday when he was acquitted of sexual assault. Spacey shook the hands of several jurors on his way out of the building and kissed two security guards on the cheek before making a statement, per the New York Times. "I imagine that many of you can understand that there's a lot for me to process," he said. "I'm enormously grateful to the jury for having taken the time to examine all of the evidence. ... And I am humbled by the outcome."

Jul 26, 2023 9:35 AM CDT

A London jury acquitted Kevin Spacey on sexual assault charges on Wednesday after a four-week trial in which the actor said he was a "big flirt" who had consensual flings with men, and whose only misstep was touching a man's groin while making a "clumsy pass." In what the Guardian calls "one of the UK's most high-profile #MeToo trials," three men accused the Oscar winner of aggressively grabbing their crotches. A fourth, an aspiring actor seeking mentorship, said he awoke to the actor performing oral sex on him after going to Spacey's London apartment for a beer and either falling asleep or passing out. The Guardian reports Spacey began to weep as the verdict was read.

All the men said the contact was unwanted, but Spacey testified that the young actor and another man had willingly participated in consensual acts. He said a third man's allegation that he grabbed his privates like a striking "cobra" backstage at a theater was "pure fantasy." He said he didn't remember a fourth incident at a small party at a home he rented in the country but accepted that he touched the groin of a man he'd met at a pub during a night of heavy drinking. He said he had misread the man's interest in him and that he'd probably made an awkward pass, reports the AP.

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Spacey, who turned 64 on Wednesday, faced nine charges, including multiple counts of sexual assault and one count of causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent. The accusations date from 2001 to 2013 and include a period when Spacey had returned to the theater, his first love. During most of that period he was artistic director of the Old Vic Theatre in London. The men came forward after an American actor accused Spacey of an incident of sexual misconduct as the #MeToo movement heated up in 2017. A New York jury last year swiftly cleared Spacey in a $40 million lawsuit by Star Trek: Discovery actor Anthony Rapp on allegations dating back three decades.

(Read more Kevin Spacey stories.)

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