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U.K. court finds actor Kevin Spacey not guilty of sexually assaulting 4 men

The 64-year-old actor, wiped away tears after the verdict was delivered.
/ Source: NBC News

Kevin Spacey on Wednesday was found not guilty of sexually assaulting four men, capping off a monthlong high-profile case in the British capital that saw the actor and all of his accusers testifying.

Spacey, 64, wiped tears away after the jury verdict was delivered.

The charges included sexual assault and related to allegations going back two decades. During the trial, prosecutor Christine Agnew characterized Spacey, who was identified in court by his full name, Kevin Spacey Fowler, as a “sexual bully“ who aggressively grabbed men by the crotch and “delights in making others feel powerless and uncomfortable.”

Spacey, who took the stand at London’s Southwark Crown Court earlier this month, described one of the men’s claims as “madness” and said another alleged assault was a “clumsy pass.” He contested the evidence of a third complainant, saying any “romantic” touching was consensual.

The jury of three women and nine men were told Spacey had grabbed one man’s crotch “like a cobra” when he worked as artistic director of London’s Old Vic Theatre in the mid-2000s, following an alleged “barrage of vile comments.”

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.

None of the four complainants in the case can be named as they are afforded lifelong anonymity under English law.

The charges dated from 2004 to 2013, at a time when Spacey worked as artistic director of the Old Vic Theatre. Spacey faced seven counts of sexual assault, one of causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent, and one of causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity.

Spacey, who won Oscars for best actor in “American Beauty” in 1999, four years after he won best supporting actor for his role in “The Usual Suspects,” said he did perform oral sex on one of the accusers but said it was consensual.

During the trial, Spacey mentioned a number of famous names, telling the jury that he had given a ping pong table to Dame Judy Dench after they worked on a movie together. Elton John was also called as a defense witness.

After the verdicts, prosecutors said in a statement that they “respect” the decision of the court,” according to Britain’s Press Association. “It is the role of the jury to consider the charges and we respect the decision of the court,” it said.

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