12:43 PM PT -- Journalist K.J. Yossman joined us on "TMZ Live" Wednesday, and she broke down the jury's decision to find Kevin Spacey not guilty ... thinking the alleged incidents occurring nearly 2 decades ago could've been a factor here.
She says Spacey's team dug up evidence that must've been just enough to put some doubt into the jury's minds, too.
K.J. feels Spacey could step back into the spotlight after all this -- noting a few jurors were waiting to meet him after the trial ... which is a bit unusual, to be fair.
7:54 AM PT -- Kevin Spacey just spoke with reporters outside the courthouse and said, "I imagine that many of you can understand that there's a lot for me to process after what has just happened today, 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."
Kevin Spacey is cleared of sexual assault charges in his UK trial -- a London jury just found him not guilty.
The verdict was handed down in Southwark Crown Court Wednesday in London after 2 days of jury deliberation.
Spacey was originally facing 13 counts including sexual assault, indecent assault, and causing a person to engage in a sexual activity without consent. The 4 indecent assault charges were dropped, with the judge citing its removal as a "legal technicality." He was found not guilty of the remaining charges.
It's a huge victory for Spacey, who had been facing the possibility of life in prison if he'd been convicted.
As we reported, Spacey's been on trial in London for allegedly sexually assaulting 4 men from 2001 to 2013. The trial kicked off at the end of June, and he was spotted looking cheerful as he headed into court for the first day.
Prosecutors claimed Spacey performed oral sex on a man while he was asleep, was aggressively "touchy-feely" with one of his drivers, and even groped a man backstage -- something the alleged victim said was done "with such force it was painful."
A lot came out during the trial -- for starters, one of his alleged accusers compared him to his serial killer character in "Se7en" ... telling cops in a prerecorded interview the actor was "a bit like that. A bit creepy. Maybe not quite as bad."
Spacey took the stand last week, describing one of the accusers as funny and charming, describing himself as a "big flirt" and insisting what went down between them was gentle and consensual.
He admitted he really liked the man, but claimed he never knew he would "stab me in the back" 20 years later. Spacey said he thinks his 4 accusers were attacking him after regretting being intimate with him.
Elton John's name came up during the trial because one of the accusers claimed he was groped by Spacey while driving to the singer's annual White Tie and Tiara Ball in either 2004 or 2005.
The Rocket Man himself actually testified remotely during the trial, saying Spacey only attended 1 of his bashes in 2001, not 2004-05. Elton's husband, David Furnish, also said Elton's recollection of the timing was backed up by photos of the past events.
In closing arguments, Spacey's defense team told the jury, "It is not a crime to have sex, even if you’re famous" -- adding it's also not a crime to sleep with someone "of the opposite sex, because it’s 2023 and not 1823."