Kevin Spacey ordered to pay $31m of House of Cards losses caused by being fired from Netflix series
Kevin Spacey has been ordered to pay the House of Cards makers almost $31m (£25m) of losses.
The actor, who played Frank Underwood in the Netflix series, was fired from the show in 2017 after being accused of sexually harrassing crew members.
It was Los Angeles Superior Court judge Mel Red Recana who made the ruling on Thursday (4 August), stating that Spacey, 62, must pay out $30.9 (£25.4m) to production company MRC.
An arbirtrator who has been investigating the case for the last three years found that the actor violated his contract clause that demanded he act in a professional manner. As a result of the accusations, MRC fired Spacey, which led to the delay in production of the show’s sixth and final season that had to be rewritten to remove Underwood.
Court documents claim that reducing the season’s episode count from 13 to eight, and shifting things so that Robin Wright became the main character, led to a loss of tens of millions.
However, Spacey’s attorneys claimed that his firing came before the crew members came forward with their allegations against him, meaning there had been no contract violation and that he was not responsbile for the losses.
According to Recana, Spacey, who denied all allegations through his attorneys, “failed to demonstrate that this was even a close case” and “did not demonstrate that the damages award was so utterly irrational that it amounts to an arbitrary remaking of the parties’ contracts”.
MRC attorney Michael Kump told The Associated Press: “We are pleased with the court's ruling.”
Spacey has faced numerous allegations of sexual assault since 2017. In July, he pleaded not guilty to sexual assault charges dating back to 2005.
In April, the actor asked a judge to dismiss the sex abuse suit brought against him by Anthony Rapp. He said through his lawyers that the claims in Rapp’s suit – in which he alleges Spacey abused him at a party in 1986 when he was a teenager – are untrue.