Kevin Spacey ordered to pay £25 million to House of Cards studio for losses

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Kevin Spacey was axed from House of Cards in 2017  (PA Wire)
Kevin Spacey was axed from House of Cards in 2017 (PA Wire)

A judge has ruled that Kevin Spacey and his production companies must pay the studio behind House of Cards nearly $31 million (around £25.5 million) to make up for losses incurred by his 2017 firing.

Spacey, 63, was axed from the show when he faced a number of sexual assault allegations. The actor has always denied wrongdoing.

Thursday’s (4 August) ruling from the Los Angeles Superior Court confirms a previous decision by a private arbitrator in favour of independent studio MRC that produced the popular Netflix series.

Judge Mel Red Recana wrote that Spacey and his attorneys “fail to demonstrate that this is even a close case” and “do not demonstrate that the damages award was so utterly irrational that it amounts to an arbitrary remaking of the parties´ contracts”.

In response to the judgment, MRC attorney Michael Kump said in an email: “We are pleased with the court’s ruling.”

Spacey has denied the allegations through his attorneys. The Evening Standard has contacted a rep for Spacey for comment.

A judge has ruled that Kevin Spacey and his production companies must pay the studio behind House of Cards nearly $31 million (£25.5 million) (PA Archive)
A judge has ruled that Kevin Spacey and his production companies must pay the studio behind House of Cards nearly $31 million (£25.5 million) (PA Archive)

Back in November, studio MRC filed a petition to confirm an arbitration award.

The company said it lost millions of dollars as filming was already underway for the next series which they had to scrap, according to US media reports from arbitration papers.

“The safety of our employees, sets and work environments is of paramount importance to MRC and why we set out to push for accountability,” the studio said in a statement at the time.

The arbitrator concluded Spacey had repeatedly breached contractual obligations to provide services "in a professional manner" which were "consistent with (MRC's) reasonable directions, practices and policies" - including its anti-harassment policies.

In the original ruling, the arbitrator also found the Oscar winner was not entitled to be paid for the remainder of his contract, as his dismissal had caused the show’s sixth season to be shortened and rewritten, costing MRC millions in lost revenue.

The actor played the calculating Frank Underwood in the political drama for five seasons, before he was cut from the show in the wake of the allegations.

Spacey played Frank Underwood on the Netflix political drama for five seasons (Netflix)
Spacey played Frank Underwood on the Netflix political drama for five seasons (Netflix)

It comes after Spacey pleaded not guilty last month to five allegations of sexual abuse dating back 17 years.

The actor will stand trial in June next year.

Spacey is accused of offences against three different men between 2005 and 2013, during the period when he was artistic director at the Old Vic theatre.

At the Old Bailey in London, he was asked to confirm his full name – Kevin Spacey Fowler – and his date of birth before repeating ‘not guilty’ five times to the charges he faces.

During the last hearing, at Westminster magistrates’ court, the star’s barrister Patrick Gibbs QC said: “Mr Spacey strenuously denies any and all criminality in this case.”

Spacey, a two-time Academy Award winner, is known for his roles in American Beauty and The Usual Suspects.

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