Judge: Kevin Spacey Owes House of Cards Producer $31M

Arbitrator's ruling has been upheld
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2022 4:57 AM CDT
Judge: Kevin Spacey Owes House of Cards Producer $31M
Kevin Spacey arrives at the Old Bailey court in London, Thursday, July 14, 2022.   (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

(Newser) – Kevin Spacey has lost his bid to have an arbitrator's ruling against him thrown out and he now owes House of Cards production company MRC $31 million. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mel Red Recana upheld the 2020 ruling against Spacey on Thursday, Variety reports. He said that for an arbitrator's decision to be overturned, it usually needs to be "utterly irrational," and that was not the case with the ruling against Spacey, who was accused of sexually harassing multiple young male staffers on the set of the Netflix show.

Spacey, who played Frank Underwood, was removed from the show after multiple sexual misconduct allegations in 2017 and the season was cut from 13 episodes to eight. The arbitrator found that Spacey had violated MRC's sexual harassment policy with his conduct toward five crew members. Spacey's lawyers argued that he "participated in a pervasive on-set culture that was filled with sexual innuendoes, jokes, and innocent horseplay" but didn't harass anybody and stopped when told his conduct "was in any way unwanted," per the Hollywood Reporter.

The $31 million includes $1.5 million in costs and fees and $29.5 million in damages, which the arbitrator described as an "appropriately conservative" calculation based on MRC's "concrete numbers" on costs and lost revenue. The arbitrator's conclusion that Spacey's breach of contract "caused the aforesaid damages is a factual finding which the court generally cannot review for error," the judge said. (Last month, Spacey pleaded not guilty to five sexual assault charges in the UK.)

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