Hollywood actor Kevin Spacey and his production companies have been ordered by the arbitration decision to pay the studio behind House of Cards more than $30 million in losses. Spacey had breached his contract by violating MRC’s – the production company’s sexual harassment policy.
According to a document filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, the actor had violated his contract’s demands for professional behavior by engaging certain conduct in connection with several crew members in each of the five seasons that he starred in and executive produced House of Cards.
MRC, in January 2019, filed the confidential arbitration demand seeking to recover from Spacey the costs of scrapping the season and starting over. The actor filed a counterclaim, accusing the production company of wrongfully terminating his contract and breaching its obligations to pay or play under the agreement.
The studio, as a result, had to fire Spacey, halt production of the show’s sixth season, rewrite it to remove Spacey’s central character, and shorten it from 13 to eight episodes to meet deadlines, which resulted in tens of millions in losses. MRC, in an official statement, said the safety of its employees, sets and work environments is paramount importance to MRC and that’s the reason it sets out to push for accountability.
“With one exception, the Arbitrator found the third party witnesses to be credible and found the allegations against Spacey to be true,” the petition stated. “The Arbitrator found that Spacey’s conduct constituted a material breach of his acting and executive producing agreements with MRC and that his breaches excused MRC’s obligations to pay him any further compensation in connection with the show.”
The ruling came after a legal battle for more than three years and an eight-day evidentiary hearing that was kept a secret from the public, along with the rest of the dispute. Spacey and his companies M.Profitt Productions and Trigger Street Productions were ordered to pay $29.5 million in damages plus $1.2 million in attorney’s fees and $235,000 in costs.