Whether it was small-time conman Verbal Kint revealed to be criminal mastermind Keyser Söze in The Usual Suspects, or the corrupt House ‘Whip’ turned into murderous criminal president Frank Underwood in House of Cards, there is a common element to many Kevin Spacey characters: he played the man who gets away with it.
To many, that’s precisely what happened today when a London jury acquitted him on his high-profile trial. To others, on the contrary, the truth has finally come to light, and his unfair persecution comes to an end.
To Spacey, his victory, on his 64th birthday – no less – reignites his long-held dream of reclaiming his place as one of the top men in his trade.
Associated Press reported:
“Kevin Spacey was acquitted of sexual assault on Wednesday after the Oscar winner’s star turn as a witness in his own defense spared him a possible prison term and gave him a shot at a career comeback.
Tears rolled down Spacey’s cheeks as the final ‘not guilty’ verdict was read. The actor looked at the jury, placed his hand over the lapel of his blue suit and mouthed the words ‘thank you’. It was his 64th birthday.”
Spacey was facing nine charges, including multiple counts of sexual assault and one count of causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent.
“Spacey had viewed the London case as a chance for redemption, telling German magazine Zeit last month that there were ‘people right now who are ready to hire me the moment I am cleared of these charges in London’.”
It is another in a list of Spacey victories: he beat a $40 million lawsuit brought by actor Anthony Rapp, and prosecutors in Massachusetts dropped charges of another case when the alleged victim suddenly refused to testify.
In another scandalous case, Los Angeles prosecutors declined to bring charges after a massage therapist who accused Spacey to have forced him to touch his genitals died.
But it hasn’t been al victories: an arbitrator in LA ordered Spacey to pay nearly $31 million to the producers of ‘House of Cards’ for violating his contract by sexually harassing crew members.
The Guardian reported:
“‘In 10 years, it won’t mean anything. My work will live longer than I will, and that’s what will be remembered’, Kevin Spacey said in an interview with Germany’s Zeit magazine last month in the lead-up to his sexual assault trial. ‘There are people right now who are ready to hire me the moment I am cleared of these charges in London’.
The actor, who carved out a niche as Hollywood’s favourite sinister villain, has spent years in the wilderness since abuse allegations first surfaced amid the growing #MeToo movement. Now he will seek to restore his reputation and rebuild his career after he was cleared of sexually assaulting four men.”
[…] Whether jurors believed his version or not, they rejected the prosecution’s case, acquitting Spacey on all charges. He left court on Wednesday – his birthday – ostensibly without a stain on his character.
The double Oscar-winner may now be considering a return to the silver screen, assuming no blemish remains on his name. But the PR expert Mark Borkowski said Spacey, 64, would struggle to secure big Hollywood roles despite his acquittal.”
Spacey is potentially facing civil claims in the UK from two of the complainants in his now-victorious criminal trial.
In UK civil courts there is a lower bar on the burden of proof of culpability than the criminal “beyond reasonable doubt”. But whether the two accusers will still go ahead with their claims after this jury’s verdict is still unclear.