How Elton John’s evidence helped clear Kevin Spacey of sexual assault

British musician Elton John’s testimony played a significant part in actor Kevin Spacey’s acquittal in a trial based on accusations of sexual assault dating back from 2001 to 2013.

The American Beauty actor was handed a “not guilty” verdict on Wednesday after just over 12 hours of deliberation in accusations he said left him without work for six years since surfacing in 2017.

The allegations centred around Spacey’s time in the UK when he was the artistic director of the Old Vic theatre in 2003.

Three men accused him of aggressively grabbing their crotches, what the prosecutor said was a “preferred method of assault” and described him as "vile" and a "slippery, snaky" predator.

Another accuser to give evidence said he believed Spacey had performed a sex act on him while he was asleep in the Hollywood star’s London flat.

But a significant moment that turned out to be a turning point in his trial was the appearance through a videolink from Monaco of global popstar Elton John.

Dressed in a black suit with tinted orange glasses, the renowned musician confirmed Spacey’s innocence by contradicting one of the main accuser’s claims.

One of the accusers had alleged that the actor had groped him while driving to one of John’s "White Tie and Tiara" balls in 2004 or 2005.

Sir Elton John told Kevin Spacey’s trial that the star went straight to a ball at his house after flying in on a private jet, then bought a Mini Cooper at the event and stayed the night.

He was asked how he can be sure of Spacey not using a commercial aircraft and he responded: “I don’t think he was wearing white tie on a commercial flight.”

"Yes, he came in white tie, and he came straight from a private jet. Yes, I don’t think he’d wear white tie otherwise,” he said.

During the ball, Spacey mentioned purchasing a red Mini in a charity auction, which he claimed became the "most expensive Mini Cooper ever".

Following the event, Spacey spent the night at the residence of Sir Elton and his husband, David Furnish.

Also appearing through a video link, Mr Furnish told jurors that he went through all the pictures taken at the parties held annually and the House of Cards actor only appeared in images from 2001.

He said he specifically remembered the moment when Spacey agreed to come to the party, saying: “He was an Oscar-winning actor, there was a lot of buzz and excitement that he was at the ball.”

The 63-year-old actor standing trial under his full name Kevin Spacey Fowler, was charged with nine sexual offences concerning four men which were were allegedly committed between 2001 and 2013.

“I imagine that many of you can understand that there’s a lot for me to process after what has just happened today,” a humbled Spacey said outside Southwark Crown Court.

“I am 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.”

During the trial, he said: “My world exploded”.

“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.”