(London) “Not Guilty”: Tried for a month for sexual assault on four men, American actor Kevin Spacey welcomed with tears and relief the verdict in his favor pronounced Wednesday at the end of his trial in London .

After deliberating for 12 hours and 26 minutes, jurors at London’s Southwark Crown Court found the star – who turns 64 on Wednesday – not guilty of the nine charges against him.

“I am enormously grateful to the jury for taking the time to carefully consider all of the evidence and facts before rendering their decision, and I accept today’s verdict with humility,” he said. shortly after in front of the swarm of journalists who were waiting for him in court.

He then got into a cab, as a female fan shouted “We love you Kevin!” and another fan asked him if he was going to play again in the House of Cards series.

A few minutes earlier, when the verdict was pronounced, the actor, who had pleaded not guilty, had wiped away a few tears with a handkerchief held out by the usher located near him in the glass box of the accused.

Turning to the jurors, he raised his hand to his chest and said “thank you,” before hugging his lawyers.

Since the opening of the trial at the end of June, Kevin Spacey had been presented by the prosecution as a sexual harasser using his influence to assault young men.

The two-time Oscar winner for his roles in American Beauty and Usual Suspects, had spoken of consensual relationships, denying any “aggressive” behavior, and claimed that some complainants had purely made up some of the acts attributed to him.

Four men accused him of sexual assault between 2001 and 2013, including from 2004 when he was director of the London theater Old Vic.

The most serious charge was that of a man who accused her of “drugging” him and engaging in sexual activity with him while he was asleep.

But jurors dismissed all nine charges, including seven of sexual assault, one charge of causing someone to have sex without their consent, and another of causing someone to have penetrative sex without their consent. his consent.

In the process, he was landed from the series and other projects in which he was to participate, completely disappearing from the screens.

During their interrogations in front of the police broadcast during the trial, the four men claimed not to have dared to speak earlier, for fear of not being believed in front of a well-known and influential personality.

In front of the jury, the actor presented himself as a “big flirty”, but denied any “violent”, “aggressive” or “painful” behavior, believing that the prosecution’s case was “weak”.

He claimed to have been “broken” by the charges and visibly moved about his “lost reputation”, receiving support from singer Elton John who testified on his behalf from Monaco.

Also accused of sexual assault in the United States, Kevin Spacey was found not guilty last year by a New York civil court. And in 2019, the charges were dropped in another case.

“I know there are people ready to hire me as soon as I am cleared of the charges in London,” he said in an interview with German media Zeit in mid-June before his trial in the United Kingdom.