Judge: Kevin Spacey must pay $30M to ‘House of Cards’ makers
Kevin Spacey and his production companies must pay the makers of “House of Cards” nearly $31 million in damages stemming from his 2017 firing for sexually harassing crew members, a judge ruled Thursday.
The ruling by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mel Red Requena upholds a $30.9 million award in favor of MRC and other companies that produced the Netflix series by the private arbitrator who heard the case against Spacey.
Ricana wrote that Spacey and his lawyers “fail to show that this is even a close case” and “fail to show that the damages award was so unreasonable as to constitute an arbitrary restructuring of the parties’ contracts.”
“We are pleased with the court’s ruling,” MRC attorney Michael Kump told The Associated Press in an email.
Spacey has denied the allegations through his lawyers and a spokesman, who did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment.
According to Comp’s filing seeking approval, the arbitrator found that Spacey breached his contract’s demands for professional conduct by engaging in certain behaviors in relation to several crew members in each of the five seasons in which he starred and produced Executive House of Cards was violated. .
As a result, MRC was forced to fire Spacey, halt production on the show’s sixth season, rewrite it to remove Spacey’s lead character, and cut it from 13 episodes to eight to meet deadlines, according to court documents. to comply, which resulted in tens of millions of damages. .
Spacey’s lawyers argued in their filings that the decision to drop him from the show’s sixth season preceded an internal investigation that involved crew members and therefore was not part of the breach of contract. They argued that the actor’s actions were not a significant factor in the show’s losses.
The private arbitrator’s ruling came after more than three years of legal wrangling and eight days of evidentiary hearings that, along with the rest of the dispute, were kept from the public until a panel of three other private arbitrators rejected Spacey’s appeal. and confirmed this decision in November.
The 63-year-old Oscar winner’s career came to an abrupt halt in late 2017 as the #MeToo movement gained momentum and accusations against him surfaced from several quarters.
Spacey has been fired or fired from projects, most notably “House of Cards,” the Netflix political thriller in which he played the title character Frank Underwood, a power-hungry congressman who becomes president, for five seasons.
Last month, Spacey pleaded not guilty in London to charges of sexually assaulting three men over a decade or so while he was there as the director of the Old Vic Theatre. His lawyer said he vehemently denies the allegations. He is scheduled to go on trial next year.
Another criminal case against him, indecent assault and battery charges stemming from the groping of an 18-year-old man at a Nantucket resort, was dismissed by Massachusetts prosecutors in 2019.
Spacey is also facing lawsuits from other men, including actor Anthony Rapp.
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Andrew Dalton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton