Enrichment Arts & Culture

Kevin Spacey ordered to pay $31M to ‘House of Cards’ producer

Story at a glance

  • Kevin Spacey must pay the media company MRC $31 million in damages and legal fees, an arbitrator has ruled.
  • MRC said Spacey had breached his contract by violating its sexual harassment policy.
  • Spacey has been accused of sexual misconduct by dozens of young men.

An arbitrator has ordered Kevin Spacey to pay “House of Cards” producer MRC nearly $31 million after determining the actor breached his contract by violating the company’s sexual harassment policy, ending a two-year legal battle.

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The arbitrator’s ruling, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, awarded MRC $29.5 million in damages and $1.4 million in attorneys fees. The ruling was made in October 2020, and an appeal by Spacey was denied earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal reported.

“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 after filing papers in a Los Angeles court to confirm the arbitration award.


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The company severed ties with Spacey, who starred as Frank Underwood in the hit Netflix series “House of Cards,” in 2017 after allegations he had assaulted underage boys and production staff. The show’s sixth season, which was in production at the time, was scrapped and Spacey’s character was killed off, delaying that season’s release, which had to be shortened to eight episodes from 13 episodes to meet its deadline.

Seeking to recover lost costs from delaying, rewriting and shortening the season, MRC filed the confidential arbitration in early 2019. Spacey then filed a counterclaim, claiming he was still owed money under his “pay or play” agreement.

After an eight-day arbitration hearing in February 2020, the arbitrator later that year issued a 46-page ruling in MRC’s favor, though that document remains confidential.

Spacey’s original accuser, actor Adam Rapp, filed a civil suit against him last year, which is still pending. Criminal charges against Spacey were dropped by prosecutors in Massachusetts in 2019 when the alleged victim refused to testify and a civil suit in Los Angeles was dropped after the accuser died.


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