A tearful Kevin Spacey was found not guilty on Wednesday by a jury at a London court of committing historical sex offences against four men After more than 12 hours of deliberation, a jury acquitted the Oscar-winning U.S. actor of nine charges, including sexual assault.
Spacey, who turned 64 on Wednesday, began to cry and mouthed "thank you" to the jury, before wiping away tears with a tissue. After he was released from the dock, he shook hands with his lawyers before leaving the court via a side door.
During the four-week trial at Southwark Crown Court, jurors were told by prosecutors that the actor had aggressively assaulted three of the men in incidents between 2004 and 2013 in Britain, when he was working at London's Old Vic theatre.
When he gave evidence, Spacey, who was tried under his full name Kevin Spacey Fowler, said the case against him was weak, and that the incidents, if they had occurred, were consensual.
While he might have made a clumsy pass at one of the men, he said he had never assaulted anyone and suggested that the accusers had come forward to make money.
Spacey told the court three of the four complainants had brought civil lawsuits against him, saying one had contacted him seeking a payment of more than 450,000 pounds ($577,400), and accepted tasking private investigators to look into at least three of the men.
The jurors also heard from singer Elton John who gave evidence as part of Spacey's defence.