Kevin Spacey has been ordered to pay around $31 million to Media Rights Capital, the company that produced the hit Netflix television series House Of Cards, which starred the disgraced actor. An arbitrator issued the order in a petition filed on Monday in the Los Angeles County Superior Court.
A Drawn-Out Legal Battle
The production company filed a lawsuit against the now 62-year-old actor in 2019, two years after it was forced to fire the actor following reports of alleged misconduct on and off the set. Spacey had starred in the show for five seasons before he was fired.
MRC said it had to rework the screenplay without the primary character of the show, Frank Underwood, and revamp the sixth season, which was reduced from 13 to eight episodes. The company said the actor's abrupt exit from the popular series resulted in "substantial losses."
MRC said it had no other choice but to remove Spacey from the show for the safety of its employees and to ensure a safe working environment. The company said in its filing that it was not aware that such abuses were taking place when and after they happened.
In its filing, MRC said it immediately suspended Spacey and launched an investigation after the allegations surfaced. The company then concluded that the American Beauty actor had breached provisions of both the Acting and Executive Producing Agreements that set standards for his workplace conduct, including by breaching the company's Harassment Policy.
Sexual Harassment And Assault Claims
The two-time Oscar-winning actor starred as an unscrupulous U.S. politician in House of Cards until the allegations of sexual harassment were made public by some of his co-workers.
In 2017, actor Anthony Rapp claimed that in 1986 - when Rapp was 14 and Spacey was 26 - Spacey made a sexual move toward him while drunk. This story was also told by Rapp in a 2001 interview with The Advocate, but Spacey's identity was removed to prevent legal issues.
Spacey claimed on Twitter that he had no recollection of the encounter but that he owed Rapp "the sincerest apology" for what might have been "inappropriate drunken behavior."
After the story was made public, 15 more people came forward to accuse Spacey of inappropriate sexual behavior. The people that came forward to accuse Spacey had included Boston anchorwoman Heather Unruh, actor Roberto Cavazos, and eight House of Cards crew members.
The "#MeToo" movement against major Hollywood personalities, which was launched by the case of all-powerful Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, coincided with the flood of accusations that put an end to Spacey's career.