After a three-day trial, a jury of five men and seven women took just over an hour to clear the soap star of charges relating to an incident in Liverpool city centre in the early hours of November 27.
He was accused of deliberately driving his American Dodge truck at paparazzo Stephen Farrell out of irritation.
Earlier today, the actor's Hollyoaks co-star and ex-girlfriend Carley Stenson gave evidence in the case. Whittle was picking up Stenson and a friend from a party at Parr Studios when the incident occurred.
Stenson told the court that her former lover had asked photographers to back off, claiming that she heard him say: "Come on, fellas, please stop."
Whittle's barrister Stuart Driver QC claimed that his client was "ashamed" of the footage of him hitting Farrell on CCTV, but insisted that it was not intentional.
In a closing statement, Driver said: "What happened was the accidental product of complicated and difficult motoring conditions that were created by somebody else."
After the verdict was announced, Whittle smiled and cleared his throat, while Stenson gasped "yes" and began to cry.
Speaking afterwards, the 30-year-old said: "It's been nine months of hell. I'm so glad it's over." He also kissed the female dock officer on the cheek as he left the court.