LOS ANGELES (AP) — A judge ruled Thursday that Kevin Spacey and its production companies must pay the creators of “House of Cards” almost 31 million. USD for losses incurred as a result of his dismissal in 2017.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mel Red Recana’s ruling gives the force of law to a $30.9 award to 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 demonstrate that this is even a closed case” and “fail to demonstrate that the damages award was so completely irrational as to amount to an arbitrary reworking of the parties’ contracts.”
“We are pleased with the court’s decision,” MRC attorney Michael Kump said in an email to The Associated Press.
Spacey denied the allegations through his lawyers and his spokesman, who did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment.
The arbitrator found that Spacey violated the professional conduct requirements of his contract when “in each of the five seasons he starred in and executive produced House of Cards, he engaged in certain conduct involving multiple crew members,” according to Kump’s request for confirmation. .
As a result, MRC had to fire Spacey, halt production on the show’s sixth season, rewrite it to remove Spacey’s lead character and cut it from 13 episodes to eight to meet deadlines, costing it tens of millions in losses, according to court documents. .
Spacey’s attorneys argued in filings that the decision to remove him from the show’s sixth season came before an internal investigation that resulted in reports from crew members, so it was not part of a breach of contract. They argued that the actor’s actions were not a significant factor in the show’s loss.
The private arbitrator’s decision followed more than three years of legal battle 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 more private arbitrators rejected Spacey’s appeal. and November left the decision unchanged.
The 63-year-old Oscar winner’s career came to an abrupt halt in 2017. towards the end, when the #MeToo movement gained momentum and allegations were made against him from several quarters.
Spacey has been fired or removed from projects, most notably “House of Cards,” the Netflix political thriller in which he played lead character Frank Underwood, a power-hungry congressman who becomes president, for five seasons.
Last month, Spacey pleaded guilty in London allegations of sexually assaulting three men a decade or more ago when he was managing director of the Old Vic theater there. His lawyer said he “vehemently denies” the allegations. He will be tried next year.
Prosecutors in Massachusetts dismissed another criminal case against him, an indecent assault and battery charge stemming from the alleged groping of an 18-year-old at a Nantucket resort. in 2019.
Spacey also faces lawsuits from other men, including actor Anthony Rapp.
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Andrew Dalton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton