A judge on Thursday ruled that Oscar winning actor Kevin Spacey has to pay House of Cards producer MRC around $31 million for alleged sexual misconduct behind the scenes of the Netflix show.
Kevin Spacey ordered to pay $31 million to House of Cards producer over sexual misconduct
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Kevin Spacey has lost his bid to overturn the $31 million arbitration award he was ordered to pay the House of Cards producer for sexual misconduct involving young crew members behind the scenes of the Netflix series. The ruling from Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mel Red Recana gives the force of law to the $30.9 million award in favor of MRC and other companies that produced the Netflix series by a private arbitrator who heard the case against Spacey.
Kevin Spacey played Frank Underwood on the Netflix show and was cut from the series after allegations surfaced that he sexually preyed on young men. The accusations, which included the alleged groping of a production assistant, caused MRC to conduct an investigation and ultimately terminate his acting and producing contracts.
According to the report, the dispute was sent to arbitration, where an arbitrator found that the actor breached his contract by violating anti-harassment policies and failing to provide services “in a professional manner.” The arbitrator also found that Spacey wasn’t entitled to be paid for the remainder of his contract, even though it contained a pay-or-play provision.
His breaches also caused the show’s sixth season to be shortened, rewritten and cost MRC eight-figures in costs and lost revenue. As THR shares, the actor’s legal team responded challenging the award in open court and contending it was “permeated with factual and legal errors — most fundamentally, its finding that MRC proved by a preponderance of the evidence that Spacey sexually harassed five former [House of Cards] crewmembers.”
His lawyers argued Spacey “participated in a pervasive on-set culture that was filled with sexual innuendoes, jokes and innocent horseplay” but never harassed anyone and when he was told “his conduct made someone feel uncomfortable or was in any way unwanted, he stopped.” Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mel Red Recana on Thursday confirmed the award and gave the ruling:
“The Arbitrator’s conclusion that Respondents’ breach caused the aforesaid damages is a factual finding which the court generally cannot review for error,” Recana explains in the ruling. “Further, the court cannot review the sufficiency of the evidence supporting the arbitration award. A three- arbitrator panel also affirmed the Arbitrator’s Final Award in proceedings under the JAMS Optional Arbitration Appeal Procedure.”
Over the past couple of years, Spacey has been accused by several men of sexual harassment and abuse. He recently appeared at the Old Bailey Criminal court in the UK where he faces five counts of sexual assault, charges to which he has pleaded not guilty. The case was brought against the actor by three anonymous men who allege abuse occurred between 2005 and 2013.
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