House of Cards actor Kevin Spacey, who was fired from the show in 2017 after five seasons has been ordered by a judge to pay almost $31 million to Media Rights Capital (MRC), the production company behind the TV series.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mel Red Recana made the ruling earlier this week, confirming an award that had been decided by an arbitrator last year. Spacey and MRC have been battling it out in court since his departure from the House of Cards TV show over allegations of misconduct on and off the set.
Spacey had filed to have the order overturned, but his request was denied by a US judge in Los Angeles on Thursday, according to documents obtained by the PA Media news agency.
Kevin Spacey starred as Frank Underwood on the Emmy-winning show, and MRC claims that having to cut him out of the sixth season of the show cost them millions of dollars and “rendered him (and his affiliated entities) liable.”
Judge Mel Red 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”.
“We are pleased with the court’s ruling,” MRC’s attorney, Michael Kump, said after the ruling.
Spacey was fired from the TV show soon after the current and former members of the “House of Cards” production staff came forward with allegations of sexual harassment. He was also accused by another person, an executive producer on the series, of sexual assault.
Kevin Spacey to pay $31m to House of Cards producers
According to The Guardian, the original filings from MCR detailed how Kevin Spacey was removed from the hit Netflix show following allegations he was “systematically preying upon, sexually harassing, and groping young men that he had worked with throughout his career on film, television, and theatre projects”.
The arbitrator concluded that Spacey had repeatedly breached contractual obligations to provide services “in a professional manner” that were “consistent with [MRC’s] reasonable directions, practices and policies” – including its anti-harassment policies.
Actor Anthony Rapp was among those who came out as a victim of harassment after he told BuzzFeed News that Spacey made a sexual advance toward him at a party in 1986 when he was 14 years old. MRC says it halted the production “to address any concerns of the show’s cast and crew” in the wake of the allegations, according to a 2021 filing.
Following Rapp’s claims, Spacey issued a statement claiming he did not recall the incident and apologized for what he said would have been “deeply inappropriate drunken behaviour.”
The Oscar winner is facing a criminal trial in London next year after being accused of sexually assaulting three men between 2005 and 2013. Spacey pleaded not guilty in July. He denied the five allegations relating to three men, now in their 30s and 40s, at the Old Bailey in London.
The alleged offences are said to have taken place in London and Gloucestershire between 2005 and 2013, during which time Spacey was artistic director of the Old Vic theatre.
Author: Allan Bangirana
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