Kevin Spacey acquitted of nine sex charges in England

Kevin Spacey, the American actor, has been acquitted of nine charges of sexual assault and abuse against four men in London. The charges dated back to between 2005 and 2013 and took place when Spacey was artistic director of the Old Vic Theatre in London.

The jury at Southwark Crown Court returned the verdicts on Thursday after a three-week trial. Spacey appeared in court for the verdicts, wearing a dark suit and tie. He showed no emotion as the verdicts were read out.

In a statement released after the verdicts, Spacey said: “I am grateful for the decision of the jury. I have always maintained my innocence and I am delighted that this matter has now been brought to a close.”

The charges against Spacey were first brought in 2017, after actor Anthony Rapp accused Spacey of sexually assaulting him in 1986 when Rapp was 14 years old. Spacey denied the allegations, but he was subsequently fired from the Netflix series House of Cards and his career was in freefall.

In 2018, the Metropolitan Police Service in London opened a criminal investigation into Spacey. He was charged with four counts of sexual assault and five counts of indecent assault in June 2022.

The trial was widely reported in the British media and attracted a great deal of public attention. The prosecution argued that Spacey had used his position of power to exploit his victims, who were all young men at the time of the alleged offenses.

The defense argued that the allegations were false and that Spacey had been the victim of a “witch hunt”. The defense also suggested that some of the witnesses may have been motivated by financial gain.

In the end, the jury sided with the defense. The verdicts are a major blow to the prosecution and could lead to calls for reform of the UK’s criminal justice system.

The verdicts are also a personal victory for Spacey, who has been fighting to clear his name for the past six years. However, it remains to be seen whether he will be able to revive his career in the wake of the scandal.