Kevin Spacey ordered to pay more than $40m for ‘House of Cards’ losses

Los Angeles: Kevin Spacey and his production companies must pay the studio behind House of Cards nearly $US31 million (nearly $43 million) because of losses brought on by his firing for sexual misconduct, according to an arbitration decision only just made final.

A document filed in Los Angeles Superior Court requesting a judge’s approval of the ruling says that the arbitrators found that Spacey violated his contract’s demands for professional behaviour by “engaging certain conduct in connection with several crew members in each of the five seasons that he starred in and executive produced House of Cards.”

Kevin Spacey played Frank Underwood in <i>House of Cards</i>.

Kevin Spacey played Frank Underwood in House of Cards.

MRC, the studio behind the show, had to fire Spacey, halt production of its sixth season, rewrite it to remove Spacey’s central character, and shorten it from 13 to eight episodes to meet deadlines, resulting in tens of millions in losses, the document 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 said in a statement.

The arbitrator issued a reward of more than $US30 million, including compensatory damages and lawyers’ fees.

A representative for Spacey did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. His lawyers argued that the actor’s actions were not a substantial factor in the show’s losses.

The ruling came after a legal fight of more than three years and an eight-day evidentiary hearing that was kept secret from the public, along with the rest of the dispute.

Spacey appealed the decision to a panel of three more private arbitrators, who found for the plaintiffs, making the decision final, and public, on Monday (Tuesday AEDT).

“MRC stood its ground, pursued this case doggedly, and obtained the right result in the end,” plaintiff’s lawyer Michael Kump said in a statement.

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