In the latest blow to his already severely tainted career, actor Kevin Spacey has been ordered by a judge to pay roughly $31 million to the producers of House of Cards, the Netflix political drama on which he starred until he was fired over sexual misconduct allegations in 2018, as Variety reports.
Judge Mel Red Recana of Los Angeles Superior Court affirmed an arbitration award issued in October 2020, which provided that Spacey owed $29.5 million in damages on top of $1.5 million in fees and costs to MRC, the production company behind the popular series.
MRC claimed that the disgraced actor cost the company millions in the form of lost profits stemming from sexual misconduct allegations that led to his firing from the show and also to the trimming of the final season – in which he was replaced – from 13 episodes down to just eight.
The arbitrator in the matter determined that Spacey’s conduct amounted to material breaches of his contracts as an actor as well as executive producer on the series, and in Recana’s estimation, “[Spacey] fails to demonstrate that this is even a close case,” in terms of MRC’s entitlement to the award, as Fox News noted.
In January, attorneys for Spacey attempted to have the arbitration award tossed aside, contending that the behavior that was the subject of on-set complaints was nothing more than “innocent horseplay” and “sexual innuendos,” but to no avail.
Spacey’s legal troubles continue to mount, as just last month, he appeared at London’s Central Criminal Court to plead not guilty to new charges of sexually assaulting three different men in incidents alleged to have occurred ten years or more ago, as NBC News reported.
Now aged 62, Spacey was formally charged in June with four counts of sexual assault and one charge of causing an individual to “engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent,” according to the outlet, and information from the Crown Prosecution Service indicated that the alleged crimes took place between the years 2005 and 2013 in different parts of England.
A trial date of June 6, 2023 was set in the U.K. case, and Spacey received a grant of unconditional bail — a development that reportedly prompted him to remark to the judge, “thank you my Lord.”
The sexual misconduct controversies that continue to engulf the well-known star began all the way back in 2017, when actor Anthony Rapp accused the much-older thespian of propositioning him sexually when the former was just 14 years old, and it was then that Spacey’s professional prospects entered a tailspin from which they may never emerge.