British Jury Clears Kevin Spacey of Sexual Assault Charges

Prosecutors alleged Spacey committed 12 assaults against four men between 2004 and 2013, including performing oral sex on someone while he was asleep.

British Jury Clears Kevin Spacey of Sexual Assault Charges
Photo:Wiktor Szymanowicz/Future Publishing (Getty Images)

Kevin Spacey, who stood accused of various sexual offenses by four men, was found not guilty on seven counts of sexual assault and two other counts by a London jury on Wednesday. The jury took more than 12 hours over three days to deliberate, according to CNN.

The charges stem from when Spacey, now 64, was artistic director at the historic Old Vic theater in London from 2003 to 2015. Prosecutors described the Oscar winner as a “sexual bully,” and accused Spacey of committing 12 counts of sexual assault between 2004 and 2013. Spacey pled not guilty to all charges.

One of Spacey’s accusers said the pair first met at a 2008 audition after the man reached out to Spacey for mentorship. The man said Spacey invited him to a meeting at his apartment, where he fell asleep—then woke up to Spacey performing oral sex on him, prosecutors said. The complainant thought he’d been “passed out for about five hours,” prosecutor Christine Agnew KC said, which was highly unusual for him.

The man told Spacey “no” and then “pushed him off,” according to Agnew. Spacey allegedly told him not to talk about this happening, and then the accuser left. He then sat at a bus stop and cried, prosecutors said.

Another of Spacey’s accusers likened Spacey to the serial killer character he played in Se7en, who was obsessed with the seven deadly sins. “[Spacey’s] character in Se7en—he’s a bit like that,” the man said in a police interview reported in Variety. “A bit creepy. Maybe not quite as bad.”

The man told police that, over “a few” years, Spacey touched his private parts “a good dozen times.”

“He was almost, right from the get-go, grooming me,” the man said. “He’d grab my hand and put my hand on his privates,” the man said. “I used to call him a weirdo. I used to say, ‘You’re a fucking weirdo.’ He used to laugh about it, he used to find it funny…He wasn’t embarrassed.”

This man said that, in their last encounter, Spacey had been drinking while the man drove them to a celebrity party near London. When Spacey grabbed the man’s genitals out of nowhere, the man said he almost crashed the car. “His hand hit me quite hard on the inside thigh then moved up, real thud, hit me right in the nuts basically,” the man said. “It took my breath away.”

The man pulled over and told Space that “it fucking hurt, you can’t do that.” The man told police that Spacey just “giggled.”

Spacey’s defense was essentially just that he enjoyed sex. “It’s not a crime to like sex, even if you’re famous, and it’s not a crime to have sex, even if you’re famous, and it’s not a crime to have casual sex,” said Spacey’s attorney, Patrick Gibbs, per reporters present in the room. “And it’s not a crime to have sex with someone of the same sex, because it’s 2023 not 1823.”

Gibbs alleged that the fact that Spacey was not publicly out as a gay at the time made him a target for these accusations. “It is easy to make up allegations against a man in Mr. Spacey’s condition,” Gibbs said in his closing statement. “By which I mean a man who is promiscuous, a man who is not publicly out, although everyone in the business knows he’s gay. A man who wants to be just a normal guy, to drink beer and laugh and smoke weed…and spend time with younger people who he’s attracted to.”

Spacey was previously vindicated by the legal system in October 2022, when a New York jury found him not liable in a case brought by Broadway and television actor Anthony Rapp regarding an incident that occurred when Rapp was 14. Rapp’s public allegations—along with other accusations of workplace misconduct—largely halted Spacey’s career, which had seen a resurgence after his Emmy-nominated role on Netflix’s “House of Cards.” (Netflix stopped working with Spacey after 2017.)

Wednesday, the day he was acquitted, was Spacey’s 64th birthday.

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