After a four-week trial, a Southwark crown court jury rules the 64-year-old Oscar-winning actor not guilty
One of the most notable #MeToo trials in the UK has concluded with Kevin Spacey, the award-winning actor, being absolved of sexual assault charges.
At the Southwark crown court, the visibly emotional 64-year-old actor was found not guilty of sexually assaulting four men, after a trial lasting four weeks.
Spacey, donned in a dark suit, pink shirt, and burgundy tie and pocket square, sought out his legal team as the jury acquitted him of all nine sexual offences over a period of nine years involving four men.
The actor of Hollywood fame refuted the charges, labeling them as “absolute nonsense,” “insanity,” and a “betrayal.” He alleged that the accusers were driven by financial motives, and that one was solely after “money, money, and more money.”
Commending the lawyers involved, Mr Justice Mark Wall, the judge, stated, “The defendant may be discharged.”
Following 12 hours and 26 minutes of deliberation, the jurors arrived at a decision after receiving a majority directive from the judge.
Spacey gratefully acknowledged the jurors after the verdict was announced, placing a hand over his chest and mouthing, “Thank you, thank you.”
Two of the jurors shook hands with Evan Lowenstein, Spacey’s business partner and manager, outside the court. Lowenstein’s consistent presence was noted throughout the trial, accompanied by his British wife. One juror conveyed to Lowenstein, “Well done.”
Under his full name, Kevin Spacey Fowler, the actor was acquitted of nine sexual offences against four men ranging from their 20s to 30s, spanning between 2004 and 2013.
Prosecutor Christine Agnew KC labeled Spacey a “sexual bully,” alleging that he used his celebrity status and power to victimize the complainants.
The jury dismissed the prosecution’s allegations of Spacey “aggressively” groping three men and performing a sexual act on an up-and-coming actor who was asleep in his apartment.
In his defense, Spacey testified to having consensual sexual encounters with a driver and the budding actor, admitting to possibly making an awkward pass at a man at a Cotswolds party. He firmly denied allegations of groping a man’s crotch “like a cobra” at a West End theatre in the mid-2000s, insisting to the jurors, “It never happened.”
During his testimony, Spacey offered the jurors a glimpse into his relationships with various celebrities, mentioning fellow actors Jack Lemmon, Val Kilmer, Richard Harris, and Joan Collins.
He shared entertaining industry stories, such as buying Dame Judi Dench a ping-pong table and acquiring “the most expensive Mini Cooper ever” at an Elton John-hosted charity auction. Elton John and his husband, David Furnish, were among the defense’s witnesses in the trial.
Spacey had originally faced 12 charges – seven for sexual assault, three for indecent assault, one for causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent, and one for causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent.
An additional indecent assault charge was introduced mid-trial, increasing the total number of alleged offences to 13 on the indictment.
Four indecent assault charges were dropped last Wednesday by the judge due to a “legal technicality”.
The trial revealed that two of the complainants were proceeding with civil lawsuits against Spacey.