Kevin Spacey was ordered by a Los Angeles judge on Thursday (August 4) to pay the makers of House of Cards nearly $31 million because of losses brought on by his 2017 firing for the sexual harassment of crew members.
Per the Associated Press, the ruling from Superior Court Judge Mel Red Recana awards $30.9 in favor of MRC and other companies that produced the Netflix series by a private arbitrator who heard the case against Spacey. Recana wrote that Spacey and his attorneys “fail to demonstrate that this is even a close case” and “do not demonstrate that the damages award was so utterly irrational that it amounts to an arbitrary remaking of the parties’ contracts.”
It was found that Spacey violated his contract’s demands for professional behavior by “engaging certain conduct in connection with several crew members in each of the five seasons that he starred in and executive produced House of Cards.” As a result, MRC had to fire Spacey, halt production of the show’s sixth season, rewrite it to remove Spacey’s central character and shorten it from thirteen to eight episodes to meet deadlines, resulting in tens of millions in losses.
Spacey’s attorneys argued that the decision to exclude him from the show’s sixth season came before the internal investigation that led the crew members to come forward, and thus was not part of a contract breach. They argued that the actor’s actions were not a substantial factor in the show’s losses.
Spacey has denied the allegations through his attorneys and his spokesperson, the publication reports. Last month, Spacey pleaded not guilty in London to charges of sexually assaulting three men a decade or more ago, when he was director of the Old Vic theater there. His lawyer said he “strenuously denies” the allegations and he is set to face trial next year.
Another criminal case brought against him, an indecent assault and battery charge stemming from the alleged groping of an 18-year-old man at a Nantucket resort, was dismissed by Massachusetts prosecutors in 2019. Spacey also faces lawsuits from other men, including Rent actor Anthony Rapp.