Actor Kevin Spacey was found not guilty of several allegations of sexual assault by a London judge on Wednesday.
The twelve jurors at the Southwark Crown Court began deliberating at noon on Monday following a three-week trial. Spacey, 64, had pleaded not guilty to all 12 charges of sexual assault.
On nine counts, the jury found Spacey not guilty. The further charges had been dropped before the jury began deliberations.
The prosecution attempted to paint Spacey as a "sexual bully" throughout the trial, so the actor took the witness stand to defend himself. Musician Elton John testified on behalf of the defense by video link from Monaco about how Spacey had once attended a banquet at his Windsor house.
The Academy Award-winning actor has been accused of and charged with sexual assault in both the UK and the US. He was cleared in October in a civil sexual assault case brought by actor Anthony Rapp in New York City.
In May 2022, Spacey announced on "Good Morning America" that he will "voluntarily" appear in court in London.
On "GMA" at the time, Spacey stated, "I greatly appreciate the Crown Prosecution Service's statement in which they carefully reminded the media and the public that I am entitled to a fair trial and innocent until proven guilty." Even if I disagree with their decision to move on, I will voluntarily show up in the UK as soon as it can be scheduled to defend myself against these accusations, which I am confident will prove my innocence.
Between 2001 and 2013, Spacey served as artistic director of the London theater company The Old Vic, where several of the U.K. allegations from those years began. Accusations started to circulate in 2017, two years after Spacey left his employment.
In a statement released at the time, Matthew Warchus, who succeeded Spacey as creative director, said, "These allegations have been a shock and a disturbing surprise to many of us." "To assert that everyone was aware is false, unfair, and reckless."
Spacey said on "GMA" at the time, "I greatly appreciate the Crown Prosecution Service's statement in which they carefully reminded the media and the public that I am entitled to a fair trial and innocent until proven guilty." I will willingly appear in the UK as soon as it can be arranged and defend myself against these charges, which I am convinced will prove my innocence, even if I am unhappy in their decision to proceed forward.
Spacey was as artistic director of The Old Vic, a London theatrical company, from 2001 and 2013, which is where several of the U.K. charges from those years originated. Accusations surfaced in 2017, two years after Spacey's departure from his position.
"These allegations have been a shock and a disturbing surprise to many of us," said Matthew Warchus, who succeeded Spacey as creative director, in a statement made at the time. "To claim that everyone knew is incorrect, unfair, and irresponsible."