MOVIE NEWS – The decision comes after disgraced actor Kevin Spacey tried to have the compensation he had already been ordered to pay set aside.
Former House of Cards actor Kevin Spacey has been ordered to pay nearly $31 million in damages to MRC, the show’s producer, for his alleged behind-the-scenes sexual misconduct, a judge confirmed on Thursday.
Spacey was fired from his role as Frank Underwood in the Netflix drama in 2017 after allegations that the actor sexually assaulted several young men on set – including allegedly groping a production assistant.
Producer MRC quickly dismissed Spacey and launched an independent investigation into the allegations, stating that “the safety of our employees, sets and work environments is of paramount importance to MRC and why we set out to push for accountability.”
According to Deadline’s report, the 2017 arbitration hearings – which included eight days of live testimony and 20 hours of videotaped testimony – found that Kevin Spacey violated his actor-producer agreements “that set standards for his workplace conduct, including breaching MRC’s Harassment Policy.”
Following the conclusion of the investigation, the judgment against the actor ultimately awarded the MRC $29.5 million in damages for Spacey’s abrupt termination, as well as $1.4 million in attorney’s fees and costs; the decision became final in October 2020.
However, Spacey, who maintains that he did not sexually assault anyone and disagrees with the findings of fact, has asked for the amount to be set aside.
In court documents, Kevin Spacey’s lawyers argued that the arbitrator had overstepped his powers by taking into account extrinsic evidence when awarding damages, writing, “However, because the arbitrator committed – namely, the damages awarded to [MRC] are not rationally related to the specific breaches found by the arbitrator -[Spacey] is entitled to an order from this court vacating the award.”
However, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mel Red Recana appears to have disagreed, as evidenced by Thursday’s ruling.
“Here, [Spacey] fails to demonstrate that this is even a close case,” Judge Recana wrote in his 14-page ruling, noting that even in a debatable case, the arbitrator’s ruling must stand. The judge also upheld the integrity of the findings in the earlier judgment, writing that he was “not compelled to infer that the arbitrator’s award was not based on the breach of the parties’ agreements or that it was based on an [external] source.”
Kevin Spacey’s representatives have not yet responded to inquiries about the judge’s ruling.