A judge ruled on Thursday that Kevin Spacey and his production companies are the makers of… House of cards nearly $31 million in losses caused by his dismissal in 2017 for sexual harassment of crew members.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mel Red Recana’s ruling gives force to the award of $30.9 million in favor of MRC and other companies that produced the Netflix series, made by a private arbitrator who heard the case against Spacey .
Recana wrote that Spacey and his attorneys “fail to show that this is even a close case” and “fail to demonstrate that the award of damages was so utterly irrational as to amount to an arbitrary review of the contracts of the parties.”
“We are pleased with the court’s ruling,” MRC attorney Michael Kump said in an email to The The Bharat Express News.
Spacey has denied the allegations through his lawyers and his spokesperson, who did not immediately respond to emails asking for comment.
The arbitrator found that Spacey violated the requirements of his contract for professional conduct by exhibiting “certain behavior in relation to different crew members in each of the five seasons in which he played and executive produced House of cards”, according to a request from Kump asking for approval.
As a result, MRC had to fire Spacey, halt production on the show’s sixth season, rewrite it to remove Spacey’s central character, and shorten it from 13 to eight episodes to meet deadlines, costing tens of millions of dollars in losses, according to court documents. led. .
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Spacey’s attorneys argued in their own files that the decision to exclude him from the show’s sixth season came before the internal investigation that led the crew members to come forward, and thus was not part of a breach of contract. They argued that the actor’s actions were not a substantial factor in the show’s losses.
The private arbitrator’s ruling came after a legal battle lasting more than three years and an eight-day hearing that was kept secret from the public, along with the rest of the dispute, until a panel of three other private arbitrators dismissed Spacey’s appeal. rejected and confirmed the decision in November.
Actor facing multiple lawsuits
The 63-year-old Oscar winner’s career came to an abrupt halt in late 2017 as the #MeToo movement gained momentum and accusations against him surfaced in several places.
Spacey was fired or removed from projects, most notably House of cardsNetflix’s political thriller in which he played lead character Frank Underwood, a power-hungry congressman who becomes president, for five seasons.
Last month, Spacey pleaded not guilty to charges of sexually assaulting three men a decade or more ago in London when he was director of the Old Vic theatre. His lawyer said he “firmly denies” the allegations. He is due to appear in court next year.
Another criminal case filed against him, an indecent assault and a charge of allegedly groping an 18-year-old man at a Nantucket resort, was dismissed in 2019 by Massachusetts prosecutors.
Spacey is also facing lawsuits from other men, including actor Anthony Rapp.