A jury in the United Kingdom on Wednesday cleared actor Kevin Spacey of sexual assault charges leveled against him by four men.
Outside the courthouse, Spacey thanked his attorneys, court staff and the jury.
“I imagine that many of you can understand that there’s a lot for me to process after what has just happened today,” he said, “but I would like to say that I’m enormously grateful to the jury for having taken the time to examine all of the evidence and all of the facts carefully before they reached their decision, and I am humbled by the outcome today.”
Spacey had been accused of sexually assaulting four men between 2001 and 2013, when he was working as artistic director at London’s Old Vic theater, BBC News and CNN reported. Testifying as part of his trial, the actor denied any wrongdoing earlier this month, describing himself as “a big flirt,” but one who did not cross any clear lines.
At his trial, his accusers described him as a “vile sexual predator” and called him “atrocious, despicable (and) disgusting,” according to BBC News. Three of the men accused him of aggressively grabbing their crotches, while a fourth said he woke to find the actor performing a sex act on him after he had passed out at Spacey’s London apartment, The Associated Press reported.
Spacey told jurors that he might have made a “clumsy pass” at one of the alleged victims and denied a claim that he drugged another man before performing a sex act on him, according to BBC News and The Guardian. He called another accuser’s allegations “madness,” and added, “It never happened,” BBC News reported.
He broke down in court while describing the way his “world exploded” after sexual abuse allegations against him first emerged in 2017, The Guardian reported.
“There was a rush to judgment, and before the first question was asked or answered I lost my job, I lost my reputation, I lost everything in a matter of days,” he said.
Last year, a civil jury found that the “House of Cards” and “American Beauty” actor did not sexually abuse Anthony Rapp when the latter actor was a teenager in 1986.