After weeks of global headlines, star witnesses, and harrowing testimony from his accusers, Kevin Spacey was found not guilty Wednesday on all nine charges in his U.K. sexual assault trial.
A jury of nine men and three women, who began deliberating Monday afternoon in London, acquitted Spacey of charges including indecent assault, sexual assault, and “causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity,” which would have carried a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
The trial against the 63-year-old actor got underway on June 28 at Southwark Crown Court in London. Over the ensuing weeks, the jury heard from four men who each accused Spacey of sexual or indecent assault between 2001 and 2013, while the actor was living in London. Three of the four accusers said Spacey aggressively groped them; the fourth said Spacey sexually assaulted him and then performed oral sex on him while he was passed out in Spacey’s flat.
The jury also heard from witnesses for the defense, including Elton John and David Furnish, who testified via video about Spacey’s attendance at one of the couple’s annual charity gala balls; one of Spacey’s accusers said the actor assaulted him on the drive over to the event.
Spacey himself also testified, vehemently denying all the charges against him and telling jurors he “did not have a power wand that I waved in front of people’s faces whenever I wanted someone to go to bed with me.” The two-time Oscar winner suggested that his accusers were lying; he described two of the sexual encounters as consensual and a third as a “clumsy pass.” The fourth he denied entirely.
Prosecutor Christina Agnew called the House of Cards actor a “sexual bully” and said in her closing arguments last week that the case involved an “enormous power imbalance” from a man “who is used to getting his own way.”
Spacey’s lawyer Patrick Gibbs, meanwhile, questioned the truthfulness of the accusers, calling them “liars” in his closing arguments and claiming that his client had been “tried by social media.”
Last year, a jury in the U.S. found Spacey not liable for battery in a civil lawsuit brought by Rent actor Anthony Rapp, who was one of the first people to publicly accuse Spacey of sexual misconduct in 2017, amid the #MeToo movement. Earlier this month, Rapp addressed Spacey’s U.K. trial in comments to The Daily Beast, saying, “A trial is a harrowing experience for victims of abuse, and I sincerely hope these men are served with the proper outcome: that Kevin Spacey is punished for his crimes.”