Jury reaches not guilty verdict in Kevin Spacey trial

UK jury has found Oscar-winning actor not guilty of nine counts of sexual assault against four men.

US actor Kevin Spacey has been cleared of all charges in as sexual assault trial in London.

Spacey cried at Southwark Crown Court as the not guilty verdicts were read out, hugged his manager and legal team, and thanked court staff.

The jury acquitted him of seven counts of sexual assault relating to four men between 2001 and 2013, 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.

All the men said the contact was unwanted but Spacey testified that the young actor and another man had willingly participated in consensual acts.

He said a third man’s allegation that he grabbed his privates like a striking “cobra” backstage at a theatre was “pure fantasy”.

He said he didn’t remember a fourth incident at a small party at a home he rented in the country but accepted that he touched the groin of a man he had met at a pub during a night of heavy drinking.

Spacey said he had misread the man’s interest in him and said he had probably made an awkward pass.

The complainants are entitled to life-long anonymity under the law.

Spacey choked up and became teary eyed in the witness box as he described the emotional and financial turmoil that US accusations brought and the barrage of criticism that followed on social media.

“My world exploded,” Spacey testified.

“There was a rush to judgment and before the first question was asked or answered I lost my job, I lost my reputation, I lost everything in a matter of days.”

Spacey was booted from House of Cards and his scenes in All the Money in the World were scrubbed and he was replaced by Christopher Plummer. Aside from some small projects, he has barely worked as an actor in six years.

Source: BBC, Nine News