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Actor Kevin Spacey found not guilty on sexual assault charges in London

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(LONDON) — Actor Kevin Spacey was on Wednesday found not guilty in a London court of a series of sexual assaults against several accusers.

Twelve jurors at the Southwark Crown Court had begun deliberating at about noon on Monday following a three-week trial. Spacey, 64, had pleaded not guilty to 12 charges of sexual assault.

The jury cleared Spacey of nine charges. The additional charges had been struck down before the jury began its deliberations.

Prosecutors had sought during the trial to label Spacey as a “sexual bully,” and the actor took the stand to defend himself. Musician Elton John appeared as a witness for the defense, testifying remotely from Monaco about Spacey once attending a gala at his Windsor home.

Spacey had appeared in a London court in July 2022 to plead not guilty after Metropolitan Police formally charged him.

The Crown Prosecution Service announced five charges against Spacey in May 2022, accusing him of sexual assaults against three men and one charge of causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent, prosecutors said. An additional seven charges were added in November 2022.

The Academy Award-winning actor has faced allegations and charges of sexual assault in both the United Kingdom and United States. He was found not liable in October in a civil sexual assault suit brought by fellow actor Anthony Rapp in New York City.

Spacey in May 2022 told ABC News’ Good Morning America that he would “voluntarily” appear in court in London.

“I very much appreciate the Crown Prosecution Service’s statement in which they carefully reminded the media and the public that I am entitled to a fair trial, and innocent until proven otherwise,” Spacey told GMA at the time. “While I am disappointed with their decision to move forward, I will voluntarily appear in the U.K. as soon as can be arranged and defend myself against these charges, which I am confident will prove my innocence.”

Several of the U.K. allegations from 2001 and 2013 stemmed from Spacey’s tenure as artistic director at The Old Vic, a London theater company. Allegations were made public in 2017, two years after Spacey had left his post.

“These allegations have been a shock and a disturbing surprise to many of us,” Matthew Warchus, who followed Spacey as artistic director, said in a statement issued at the time. “It is incorrect, unfair and irresponsible to say that everybody knew.”

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