Hollywood star Kevin Spacey has been acquitted of a series of sex offences against young men while he was working as the artistic director of the Old Vic theatre in London between 2004 and 2015.
After 12 hours and 26 minutes the jury at Southwark Crown Court found Mr. Spacey, 63, not guilty of three counts of indecent assault, seven counts of sexual assault and two counts of causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent between 2001 and 2013.
Mr. Spacey had tears in his eyes as the verdicts were read out.
The jury had been told Mr. Spacey—whose full name is Kevin Spacey Fowler—was a “sexual bully” and “predator” who abused his position to target young men.
But the Oscar-winning actor, known for his roles in “House Of Cards,” “American Beauty” and “The Usual Suspects,” denied the charges and claimed the allegations were “half-truths … some deliberate exaggerations and … many damned lies.”
The complainants were four men who were all in their 20s or 30s at the time of the alleged offences and cannot be named for legal reasons.
Spacey Said he was ‘Big Flirt’
Mr. Spacey, giving evidence, admitted he was a “big flirt” but denied he had used his power or celebrity against young men.
He said, “I did not have a power wand that I waved in front of people’s faces whenever I wanted someone to go to bed with me.”
Under cross examination by prosecutor Christine Agnew, KC, Mr. Spacey admitted he was sometimes “lonely” during his time in London, even though he was at the height of his fame.
Miss Agnew asked him, “Did you then reach out to people sexually in order to ease that burden?”
“Welcome to life. Yes, yes I did,” he replied.
Mr. Spacey admitted he had been “promiscuous” at times but added: “It doesn’t make me a bad person.”
Miss Agnew then asked Mr. Spacey: “Have you found that due to your status and position, people normally did what you wanted them to do?”
“No,” the actor replied.
Broke Down in Court During Character References
The Hollywood star broke down in court as he listened to character references friends in the theatre and film industry, including the son of late actor Jack Lemmon, and television actor Robert Sean Leonard.
Among the defence witnesses was Sir Elton John, who gave evidence about a charity ball at his home in Windsor.
Mr. Spacey was alleged to have grabbed the crotch of a young man who was driving him to the party in such a painful way he “almost come off the road.”
The trial got an insight into Mr. Spacey’s celebrity life during the trial.
The jury heard he gifted a table tennis table to Dame Judi Dench after they worked on a film together, and had stayed in the flat of actor Richard Harris’s son in the 1980s.
In 2017 Mr. Spacey admitted he was gay for the first time, after he was accused of making sexual advances towards actor Anthony Rapp, when Mr. Rapp was 14.
In a statement, which he posted on Twitter, Mr. Spacey said he did not remember the incident but added: “If I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behaviour.”
In Oct. 2022 Mr. Spacey won a civil case in the U.S. after Mr. Rapp failed to prove his allegations.
It remains to be seen if Mr. Spacey can rebuild his film and TV career.
Mr. Spacey’s part in Ridley Scott’s film “All The Money In The World” had to be reshot—with Christopher Plummer playing J. Paul Getty—after the first allegations emerged.
He was fired from “House of Cards” in 2017 amid allegations of sexual misconduct and last year he was ordered to pay Netflix $31 million for loss of revenue.
But he has reportedly completed filming on three movies, one of which is based on Gore Vidal, the homosexual writer and intellectual.
PA Media contributed to this report.
From The Epoch Times