Judge: Kevin Spacey must pay 30 million dollars to the creators of ‘House of Cards’

THE ANGELS –

A judge ruled Thursday that Kevin Spacey and his production companies must pay the creators of “House of Cards” nearly $31 million for losses stemming from his 2017 firing for sexually harassing crew members.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mel Red Recana’s ruling grants the force of law to the $30.9 award 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 show that this is even a closed case” and “fail to show that the award of damages was so utterly unreasonable as to amount to an arbitrary reworking of the parties’ contracts.”

“We are pleased with the court’s ruling,” MRC attorney Michael Kump said in an email to The Associated Press.

Spacey has denied the allegations through his lawyers and spokesman, who did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment.

The arbitrator found that Spacey violated the professional behavior demands of his contract by “engaging in certain conduct in connection with various members of the crew in each of the five seasons he starred in and executive produced House of Cards,” according to a filing. of Kump requesting approval. .

As a result, MRC had to fire Spacey, halt production on 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 losses of tens of millions. according to court documents. .

Spacey’s attorneys argued in their own documents that the decision to exclude him from the show’s sixth season came before the internal investigation that led to team members coming forward and was therefore not part of a breach of contract. . They argued that the actor’s actions were not a substantial factor in the show’s losses.

The private arbitrator’s 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, until a panel of three other private arbitrators rejected Spacey’s appeal. and confirmed the 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 various quarters.

Spacey has been fired or cut from projects, most notably “House of Cards,” the Netflix political thriller in which for five seasons he played lead character Frank Underwood, a power-hungry congressman who becomes president.

Last month, Spacey pleaded not guilty in London to charges of sexually assaulting three men a decade or more ago when he was manager of the Old Vic theater there. His attorney said he “strongly denies” the allegations. He is scheduled to face trial next year.

In 2019, Massachusetts prosecutors dismissed another criminal case brought against him, a charge of indecent assault and battery stemming from the alleged groping of an 18-year-old man at a Nantucket resort.

Spacey is also facing lawsuits from other men, including actor Anthony Rapp.

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