Kevin Spacey has been ordered to pay the House of Cards creators nearly $31m (£25m) of losses. The actor, who played Frank Underwood in the Netflix series, was fired from the show in 2017 after being accused of sexually harassing crew members.
Yesterday, the Los Angeles Superior Court judge Mel Red Recana ruled that the 62-year-old actor must pay out the hefty sum to production company MRC.
An arbitrator working on the case over the last three years has determined that Spacey violated a contract clause that demanded he act in a professional manner. In light of the developments, MRC fired the actor leading to the creators having to delay production of the sixth and final season of the Netflix show as they removed Underwood from the script.
Court documents claim that reducing the season’s episode count from 13 to eight, and shifting the plot to make Robin Wright the main character, led to a loss of tens of over $30 million.
Spacey’s attorneys challenged the ruling, claiming that his firing came before the crew members came forward with their allegations against him, meaning there had been no contract violation and he was not responsible for the losses.
According to Recana, Spacey, who denied all allegations through his attorneys, “failed to demonstrate that this was even a close case” and “did not demonstrate that the damages award was so utterly irrational that it amounts to an arbitrary remaking of the parties’ contracts”.
MRC attorney Michael Kump told The Associated Press: “We are pleased with the court’s ruling.”
Since 2017, the actor has faced multiple allegations of sexual misconduct. Last month, he pleaded not guilty to sexual assault charges dating back to 2005.
In April, the disgraced actor asked a judge to dismiss the sex abuse suit brought against him by Anthony Rapp. Through his lawyers, Spacey said that Rapp’s claims of sexual abuse dating back to a party in 1986 were untrue.