Kevin Spacey ordered to pay studio $31M for breaching sex-harassment policy

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Kevin Spacey was ordered to pay almost $31 million to the studio behind “House of Cards” for violating the company’s sexual harassment policy, a new court filing revealed.

The private ruling by an arbitrator was initially handed down more than a year ago, but it only was made public on Monday after lawyers for MRC, the studio behind the Netflix political thriller, filed a petition in Los Angeles Superior Court to confirm the sum would be delivered.

The arbitrator ordered the disgraced award-winning actor and his production companies to pay just shy of $31 million in damages, as well as lawyers’ fees.

Spacey served as an executive producer of “House of Cards” and was the initial main character of the series. In the show, he played an ambitious Democratic Congressman who would stop at nothing to rise up the political ranks.

The show aired for six seasons from 2013 to 2018.

But while the final season of the show was being filmed — and as the #MeToo movement was gaining steam globally — actor Anthony Rapp accused Spacey of making a sexual advance toward him in 1986, when Rapp was just 14. 

Actor Kevin Spacey attends a pretrial hearing on Monday, June 3, 2019, at district court in Nantucket, Mass
Actor Kevin Spacey attends a pretrial hearing in 2019, at district court in Nantucket, Mass.
AP Photo/Steven Senne

That initial allegation led to more accusations against Spacey, including by crew members of “House of Cards.”

MRC and Netflix eventually fired Spacey from the show and ended the series.

In the more recently settled arbitration, MRC said Spacey’s behavior was a violation of the studio’s policy barring sexual harassment and that ultimately cost it millions of dollars.

Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright House of Cards
Spacey is seen in the first season of House of Cards, which was eventually canceled in light of the allegations against him.
Patrick Harbron/Netflix

Spacey’s behavior and the subsequent allegations forced the studio to write his character abruptly out of the show and end the season early, MRC argued.

“MRC stood its ground, pursued this case doggedly, and obtained the right result in the end,” the studio’s lawyer, Michael Kump, founding partner of the Santa Monica-based firm Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump Holley, said in a statement to CNBC.

Former Boston news anchor Heather Unruh, holds a press conference in Boston in 2017 to discuss the alleged sexual abuse of her son by actor Kevin Spacey.
Former Boston news anchor Heather Unruh, holds a press conference in Boston in 2017 to discuss the alleged sexual abuse of her son by actor Kevin Spacey.
Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

“The safety of our employees, sets and work environments is of paramount importance to MRC and why we set out to push for accountability,” MRC added.

MRC is an independent studio behind other hit series including Netflix’s “Ozarks” and the new show from Apple TV+, “The Shrink Next Door.”



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