Disgraced US movie star Kevin Spacey will have to pay almost $31 million to the production company that made the series “House of Cards” in which he starred until he was fired over allegations of sexual harassment, according to legal documents made public Monday. MRC, the production company that made the popular tale of political intrigue that was broadcast on Netflix, had sought damages for lost revenue attributed to Spacey’s abrupt exit after allegations of harassment and sexual abuse emerged. An arbitration judge made the ruling on October 19 when MRC filed a petition to confirm the verdict in a Los Angeles court.
In the document, MRC detailed that after the allegations came to light it suspended Spacey and launched an investigation which found that the “American Beauty” star had “breached provisions of both the Acting and Executive Producing Agreements that set standards for his workplace conduct, including by breaching MRC’s Harassment Policy.” The wave of accusations that halted the 62-year-old’s illustrious career coincided with the rise of the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and abuse, sparked by the case of the all-powerful Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
Two-time Oscar winner Spacey had starred as unscrupulous US politician Frank Underwood in five seasons of “House of Cards” until the allegations of sexual harassment against co-workers were made public in the media. “MRC had no knowledge whatsoever of any such conduct by Spacey with any cast or crew associated with the Show,” the company said in its petition.
The production company said the actor’s abrupt exit from the popular series required a reorganization that resulted in “substantial losses” for MRC. It had to rewrite the script excluding Underwood, the main character of the series, and redesign the sixth season that went from 13 to eight episodes. The production company launched its legal battle against Spacey in 2019. The actor’s legal representatives did not respond to an AFP request for comment. – AFP