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Kevin Spacey ordered to pay €23 million for 'House of Cards' losses

Kevin Spacey's career came to an abrupt halt after sexual assault allegations emerged in 2017
Kevin Spacey's career came to an abrupt halt after sexual assault allegations emerged in 2017 Copyright AP Photo
Copyright AP Photo
By Shannon McDonagh with AP
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MRC studios allege the actor halted the production of the Netflix show and required numerous rewrites as a result of sexual assault allegations.


Kevin Spacey and his production companies must pay the studio behind 'House of Cards' more than €23 million because of losses brought on by his firing for sexual misconduct.

The ruling comes as a result of an arbitration decision made final on Monday.

A document filed in Los Angeles Superior Court found that Spacey violated his contract's demands for professional behaviour 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.”

Over 15 individuals have come forward with accounts of sexual assault and inappropriate behaviours since 2017, when actor Anthony Rapp alleged that the actor made sexual advances towards him when he was 14 and Spacey was 26.

It was the same month a number of people spoke to the press about their experiences with Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

MRC, the studio behind 'House of Cards', had to fire Spacey, halt production of the show's sixth season, rewrite it to remove Spacey's central character, and shorten it from 13 to eight episodes to meet deadlines, resulting in tens of millions in losses, the document said.

“The safety of our employees, sets and work environments is of paramount importance to MRC and why we set out to push for accountability," MRC said in a statement Monday.

Spacey's legal representatives argue his actions 'weren't substantial'

Steven Senne/AP
Spacey arriving in court in 2019 over accusations of indecent assault and batterySteven Senne/AP

A representative for Spacey did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. But his attorneys argued that the actor's actions were not a substantial factor in the show's losses.

The ruling came after a legal fight of more than three years and an eight-day evidentiary hearing that was kept secret from the public, along with the rest of the dispute.

Spacey appealed the decision to a panel of three more private arbitrators, who found for the plaintiffs, making the decision final, and public, on Monday.

"MRC stood its ground, pursued this case doggedly, and obtained the right result in the end,” plaintiff's attorney Michael Kump said in a statement.

The 62-year-old Oscar winner's career came to an abrupt halt late in 2017 as the #MeToo movement gained momentum.

Actor Anthony Rapp, who has appeared in 'Rent' on Broadway and film as well as in 'Star Trek: Discovery' on television, said Spacey made a sexual advance on him when he was 14 at a party in the 1980s.

Crew members from both 'House of Cards' and from his 11 years as artistic director of the Old Vic theatre in London also say he used his position to grope and behave inappropriately with young men.

At the time, Spacey issued a statement saying he didn’t remember the encounter but apologised.

Several other accusers followed. Some, including Rapp, have filed lawsuits.

Independent investigations found widespread sexual harassment of those who worked under him.

Spacey was fired or removed from several projects, most notably 'House of Cards,' the Netflix political thriller where for five seasons he played lead character Frank Underwood, a power-hungry congressman who becomes president.


The one 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.

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