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Kevin Spacey ‘unlikely to reach previous Hollywood highs’ despite being cleared of sex assaults, experts say

Kevin Spacey‘s career is unlikely to “reach the highs it previously did”, industry experts have said after the former Hollywood star was cleared of nine counts of sexual assault.

Following the verdict, lawyer Mark Stephens said Mr Spacey will be “looking to pick up his career from where he left off”, adding the “acquittals will go someway to restoring his earning potential”.

Former criminal barrister Stephen Vullo KC, who has previously represented high-profile clients including Rolf Harris in court, said Mr Spacey’s future career “depends on his circumstances and whether someone is willing to take the potential hit hiring him”.

He said: “Hollywood may be slower to employ him but I suspect once he has come back in one job he will be offered others. It just depends how loyal his following is.”

Sean O’Meara, public relations consultant and founder of Essential Content, said he “doubts very much that Kevin Spacey’s career will reach the highs it previously did”.

He said: “Friends, like Elton John, stuck by him, but show business is a fickle industry; some people are permitted to continue with their careers while others aren’t.

“There’s little room for nuance and modern audiences seem less capable of separating the artist from the art.”

As the initial allegations emerged, Mr Spacey was dropped from a number of high-profile roles and was even erased from Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World in 2017 – with fellow actor Christopher Plummer reshooting his scenes as billionaire John Paul Getty.

Mr Spacey was also axed from his Golden Globe-winning role as scheming politician Frank Underwood in the Netflix political drama series House of Cards.

Last year, Mr Spacey’s production companies were ordered to pay $31m (£24m) to make up for losses incurred following his loss of work in the wake of allegations against him.

However, with separate criminal charges in LA and Massachusetts having been dropped in 2018 and 2019 respectively, Mr Spacey was also found not liable in a civil trial in New York last year.

The case at Southwark Crown Court represented the last outstanding criminal charges against the 64-year-old.

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