US actor Kevin Spacey cleared of UK sex offences

US actor Kevin Spacey cleared of UK sex offences

Hollywood actor Kevin Spacey was found not guilty in Britain Wednesday of nine alleged sex offences against men, which follows the Oscar winner's being cleared in a US case.

US actor Kevin Spacey cleared of UK sex offences

The star of "American Beauty" and drama series "House of Cards", who turned 64 on Wednesday, was acquitted by majority verdicts in London following a trial that lasted several weeks.

"I'm enormously grateful to the jury for having taken the time to examine all of the evidence and all of the facts carefully before they reached their decision and I am humbled by the outcome today," he told reporters outside court.

It comes less than a year after a New York court dismissed a $40 million sexual misconduct lawsuit brought against him, and follows charges of indecent and sexual assault being dropped in Massachusetts in 2019.

Spacey's once-stellar career has been halted by the various allegations of sexual offences, which he has always consistently denied and has never been convicted of.

The jury in London cleared Spacey of all nine counts that he faced after more than 12 hours of deliberations.

They included seven counts of sexual assault, 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.

The offences allegedly occurred in 2005 and 2008 in London, and in 2013 in Gloucestershire, western England.

Jurors began considering their verdicts on Monday, after hearing evidence from the four alleged victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

British rock star Elton John was also among those to testify, as a witness for Spacey.

The prosecution claimed he was a "sexual bully" who revelled in making others feel uncomfortable, including by aggressively grabbing men's crotches.


- 'Madness' -

One of victims, a former aspiring actor, said he woke up to find Spacey performing a sex act on him, suggesting the actor "drugged" him.

Spacey was accused of grabbing another man's crotch "so hard" they nearly came off the road while driving to a fundraising event.

Spacey, whose full name is Kevin Spacey Fowler, called the claims "madness" and a "stab in the back".

He had been on unconditional bail since first appearing in court in Britain last year.

The actor enjoyed a highly successful  career with roles such as a middle-aged father lusting after a teen in "American Beauty," a serial killer in "Se7en" and the villain in "Superman Returns".

He worked as artistic director at London's Old Vic Theatre between 2004 and 2015.

In 2017 he was one of the first stars caught up in the global #MeToo movement and was accused of sexual assault by multiple young men.

He was dropped from the final season of the political drama "House of Cards" and other projects.

The New York court dismissed the $40 million sexual misconduct lawsuit brought against him in October last year.

The complainant, actor Anthony Rapp, alleged the star had assaulted him when he was 14. He brought the civil case after being told it was too late to bring a criminal charge but failed to convince the jury in that case.

In 2019, charges of indecent and sexual assault were dropped against Spacey in Massachusetts.

He was expected to address the media outside Southwark Crown Court later on Wednesday.

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