According to reports, two-time Oscar winner Kevin Spacey was acquitted of nine charges of sexual assault on Wednesday by a jury in England.
A jury in Southwark Crown Court in London reached its verdict in less than 12 hours, almost six years after claims of improper conduct against Spacey first surfaced in the US and UK.
Tears started to well up in his eyes, and he sighed heavily as the final verdict of “not guilty” was pronounced.
A report shows that Spacey shook the hands of numerous jurors and kissed two security officers on the cheek as he left the courtroom shortly after the decision was read.
The allegations span decades, at which time Spacey returned to the stage after winning Oscars for American Beauty and The Usual Suspects.
Reports show that as the trend known as #MeToo gathered steam in 2017, a few men spoke up following an American actor who charged Spacey with sexual assault. Some men spoke of being plagued by the abuse to the point that they could no longer watch any of Spacey’s movies.
Actor Anthony Rapp of Star Trek: Discovery sued Spacey for $40 million over charges stretching back three decades, but a New York jury acquitted Spacey this year.
In the civil trial, Rapp claimed that when he was fourteen and Kevin Spacey was 26, Spacey behaved inappropriately towards him at a party in 1986. During the three-week trial, Rapp demanded $40 million in compensation for his losses. Spacey’s legal team claimed that Rapp faked a story out of jealousy of Spacey’s fame.
Because the jury determined that Kevin Spacey did not touch Rapp in a sexual or personal manner, they were unable to hold him responsible according to the Child Victims Act. But after Rapp’s claim in October 2017, over a dozen additional men came forward to accuse Spacey of sexual assault.