Kevin Spacey has been ordered to pay almost $31 million to the production company who made House of Cards, the hit Netflix drama from which Spacey was fired in 2017 after being accused of sexually assaulting multiple boys and men.
Last year, an arbitrator ruled Spacey and his production companies must pay $29.5 million in damages to the House of Cards production company, MRC, as well as $1.2 million in legal fees and $235,000 in other costs, Variety reported. Spacey had been accused of sexually harassing and assaulting members of the show’s production team and Spacey was suspended from the show.
MRC’s petition for damages explained that the studio had to “scrap all of the development and writing that previously had been done over the course of several months, shelve two episodes of the final season that had already been shot with Spacey’s performance, and rewrite in just a handful of weeks an entire season of the show omitting Spacey’s character,” according to the LA Times.
The ruling in MRC’s favor was initially made in October 2020. Spacey then appealed and lost this month, and now the deal has been made public.
“The safety of our employees, sets and work environments is of paramount importance to MRC and why we set out to push for accountability,” said a statement from MRC.
Prior to the allegations against Spacey, he was known as an Academy Award-winning actor who appeared in The Usual Suspects (1995), L.A. Confidential (1997), American Beauty (1999), and Recount (2008).
He starred in House of Cards, which was Netflix’s first original programming in television, for five seasons. He also was the Artistic Director of London’s renowned Old Vic Theatre for years.
Then in October 2017, several men alleged that Spacey had sexually harassed or assaulted them as children or teens, offenses that allegedly took place as far back as the 1980s. Out award-winning actor Anthony Rapp was one of the first accusers.
In denying the allegations, Spacey ended up coming out publicly for the first time. Still, Old Vic’s inquiry into the matter found 20 more allegations of abuse or misconduct, and criminal or civil proceedings against the actor began taking place in various jurisdictions. Even a member of the Norwegian royal house accused Spacey of touching him inappropriately without consent.
Among all of these allegations were also those from House of Cards employees, eight of whom accused Spacey of sexual harassment and one of whom accused him of sexual assault.
MRC claimed to have no knowledge of the abuse and immediately suspended Spacey to conduct its own internal investigation.
After writing Spacey out of the show, MRC filed arbitration against him for damages. Spacey then accused MRC of wrongful termination.
The ruling found MRC in the right.
“With one exception, the Arbitrator found the third party witnesses to be credible, and found the allegations against Spacey to be true,” said the petition.
“The Arbitrator found that Spacey’s conduct constituted a material breach of his acting and executive producing agreements with MRC, and that his breaches excused MRC’s obligations to pay him any further compensation in connection with the show.”