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Arbitrator Says Kevin Spacey Owes ‘House of Cards” Creators $31M

Actor Kevin Spacey, who was the star lead on Netflix’s “House of Cards” television series until sexual assault allegations in 2017, must pay the show’s producers $31 million in damages and attorney fees for breaching his contract according to an independent arbitrator’s ruling.

Kevin SpaceyPhoto Credit: Shutterstock

Collectively known as MRC, the petitioners told a California state court Monday that a JAMS arbitrator ruled in favor of the production company last year, and that the award was affirmed by an appellate panel earlier this month. MRC requested that the court confirm the arbitration award against the actor.

“The arbitrator found that Spacey — as a result of certain conduct in connection with several crew members in each of the five seasons that he starred in and executive produced House of Cards — had repeatedly breached his contractual obligations to provide his services ‘in a professional manner’ and ‘consistent with [MRC’s] reasonable directions, practices, and policies,’ including MRC’s Harassment Policy — all without the knowledge of MRC,” the production company told the court Monday.

In October of 2017 Spacey was hit with several sexual harassment and assault allegations, resulting in the termination of his role as protagonist Frank Underwood in the “House of Cards” series.

MRC’s original arbitration claim came in January 2019, claiming they lost out on millions of dollars after as a result of Spacey’s alleged activities. Spacey then filed cross-claims the following month alleging breach of contract when the production company refused to pay him.

This time around, the arbitrator took more than 20 depositions and conducted eight days of live hearings, ultimately finding that Spacey’s alleged misconduct constituted a breach of contract and therefore MRC was excused from paying him.

“The arbitrator further found that Spacey’s egregious breaches of contract proximately caused and rendered him (and his affiliated entities) liable for the tens of millions of dollars in losses MRC suffered when it had no choice, upon the revelations of Spacey’s pattern of harassment, to halt the production of Season 6 of the show, to rewrite the entire season to omit Spacey’s character, and to shorten Season 6 from 13 to 8 episodes to meet delivery deadlines,” MRC said.

“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 stated in a release.

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Source: https://www.law360.com/articles/1442834

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