Kevin Spacey Found Not Guilty Of Sex Crimes In UK Trial; Actor “Humbled” By Jury’s Verdict
By Jesse Whittock, Max Goldbart, Deadline Press Association
July 26, 2023 6:54am
Kevin Spacey has been found not guilty in his sex crimes trial in London.
The House of Cards and American Beauty star was facing nine charges at Southwark Crown Court, including sexual assault, which were alleged to have been committed between 2001 and 2013 and relate to four men. Speaking outside the courthouse in the past few minutes, Spacey, who turns 64 today, said he is “humbled” by the jury’s decision. (See the video below.)
Spacey had tears in his eyes as the jury cleared him of the charges. After 12 hours and 26 minutes, the jury panel acquitted Spacey of 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. The defendant placed his hand on his chest, looked at the jury panel and mouthed “thank you” twice before they left the room.
The double-Oscar winner had denied all charges – saying the allegations against him were “madness” and a “stab in the back.”
“I imagine that many of you can understand that there’s a lot for me to process after what has just happened today,” Spacey said outside the court. “But I would like to say that I’m 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.”
Jurors rejected the prosecution’s claims that Spacey had “aggressively” grabbed three men by the crotch and had performed a sex act on another man while he was asleep in his flat.
Under questioning from Spacey’s lawyer, Patrick Gibbs KC, the complainants all denied either seeking financial gain, attempting to further their career or giving false accounts to the jury.
During the trial, one complainant alleged the actor “aggressively” grabbed his crotch while he drove him to a lavish showbiz party hosted by Elton John in the early 2000s.
Jurors were told Spacey allegedly grabbed another man’s crotch “like a cobra” after meeting him at a West End theater in the mid-2000s following an alleged “barrage of vile comments.”
The defendant was also accused of having had a “panicked” look on his face after a third man rejected an alleged sexual grab at an expensive property he was staying at in the Cotswolds in the early 2010s.
An aspiring actor also told the court of an alleged incident in the late 2000s where “things went further” – claiming he woke up to find Spacey performing a sex act on him.
A number of famous names were mentioned during the trial, with Rocket Man singer John even being called as a defence witness alongside husband David Furnish and Jack Lemmon’s son.
Spacey also spoke of having gifted a ping pong table to Dame Judi Dench after they worked on a film together, and told jurors about staying in Harry Potter star Richard Harris’s son’s flat in the 1980s.
Throughout the trial, the 12 jurors were urged to avoid media coverage and were instead directed to concentrate on what happened and whether it was a crime, without being too concerned with precise dates.
Spacey is becoming used to facing high-profile trials that attract mounds of media attention. Last year, he won a $40M civil case in New York after a much-covered sexual misconduct trial brought by Star Trek: Discovery star Anthony Rapp. Rapp had accused Spacey of sexually abusing him at a party when he was 14 and Spacey was 26 but a jury deliberated for a little more than an hour before deciding that Rapp hadn’t proven his allegations.
Speaking to ZEITmagazin last month, Spacey said “there are people right now who are ready to hire me the moment I am cleared of these charges in London.”
Spacey has an address in Waterloo, South London, but also lives in the U.S., where he has family and a dog. His lawyer, Gibbs, had said he returned to the UK for the Southwark trial “to establish his innocence” and “proceed with his life.”
Following the not guilty verdicts, the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said prosecutors “respect” the decision of the court.
A CPS spokesman said: “Following a thorough investigation by the Metropolitan Police, the CPS made the decision to charge Kevin Spacey with sexual offences. The function of the CPS is not to decide whether a person is guilty of a criminal offence, but to make fair, independent and objective assessments about whether it is appropriate to present charges.”