Judge orders Kevin Spacey to pay House of Cards makers whopping $31M in firing dispute

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Kevin Spacey owes nearly $31 million to the makers of House of Cards, a judge ruled Thursday, per court documents obtained by EW.

The decision comes after a private arbiter found in 2020 that Spacey had breached his contract by violating the company's sexual harassment policy. MRC, the company behind the hit Netflix series, cut ties with Spacey in 2017 after multiple allegations of sexually predatory behavior against him came to light. During the arbitration process, the company successfully argued that Spacey cost them millions after his alleged misconduct forced them to remove him from the series and cut the sixth season down by five episodes.

Spacey — who has denied the allegations against him — then challenged that ruling in open court, with his lawyers claiming in part that his actions were not a substantial factor in House of Card's losses.

On Thursday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mel Red Recana ruled against Spacey's bid to toss the arbitration award and granted MRC's petition, which means the actor will now need to make good on the $30.9 million he was initially ordered to pay.

EW has reached out to Spacey for comment.

Kevin Spacey
Kevin Spacey

Ernesto Ruscio/Getty Images Former 'House of Cards' star Kevin Spacey

In her ruling, the judge wrote Spacey and his lawyers "fail to demonstrate that this is even a close case" and "do not demonstrate that the damages award was so utterly irrational that it amounts to an arbitrary remaking of the parties' contracts," according to the court documents.

"We are pleased with the court's ruling," MRC counsel Michael Kump said in a statement to EW.

Spacey is still facing several unrelated lawsuits based on past sexual assault charges from more than a dozen men, including actor Anthony Rapp, who first accused Spacey of making unwanted sexual advances on him when Rapp was 14 and Spacey was 26. Spacey has maintained his innocence throughout the accusations.

Last month, the actor pleaded not guilty to charges of sexually assaulting three men more than a decade ago in London where he was working as director of the Old Vic theater. He is set to face trial next year.

The actor has recently started to pop back up in films abroad. While he will no longer star in director Péter Soós' upcoming historical drama 12:42: Gateway to the West, he is still slated to appear in projects like Louis Nero's The Man Who Drew God, with the producer recently telling EW he wasn't concerned about the allegations against the star.

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