Public Media Arts Hub

Actor Kevin Spacey leaves the Central Criminal Court in London
Actor Kevin Spacey leaves the Central Criminal Court after attending a hearing over charges related to allegations of sex offences, in London, Britain, Jul. 14, 2022. Photo by Maja Smiejkowska/ REUTERS

Kevin Spacey acquitted in sexual assault case in London

LONDON (AP) — A London jury acquitted Kevin Spacey on sexual assault charges on Wednesday after a four-week trial in which the actor said he was a "big flirt" who had consensual flings with men and whose only misstep was touching a man's groin while making a "clumsy pass."

READ MORE: Jury concludes Kevin Spacey didn't molest actor Anthony Rapp in 1986

Three men accused the Oscar winner of aggressively grabbing their crotches. A fourth, an aspiring actor seeking mentorship, said he awoke to the actor performing oral sex on him after going to Spacey's London apartment for a beer and either falling asleep or passing out.

All the men said the contact was unwanted but Spacey testified that the young actor and another man had willingly participated in consensual acts. He said a third man's allegation that he grabbed his privates like a striking "cobra" backstage at a theater was "pure fantasy."

He said he didn't remember a fourth incident at a small party at a home he rented in the country but accepted that he touched the groin of a man he had met at a pub during a night of heavy drinking. He said he had misread the man's interest in him and said he had probably made an awkward pass.

Defense lawyer Patrick Gibbs said three of the men were liars and incidents had been "reimagined with a sinister spin." He accused most of them of hopping on a "bandwagon" of complaints in the hope of striking it rich.

Support Canvas

Sustain our coverage of culture, arts and literature.

Send Us Your Ideas
Let us know what you'd like to see on ArtsCanvas. Your thoughts and opinions matter.