Entertainment

Kevin Spacey pays $31 million to House of Cards producer over sexual assault allegations

Actor Kevin Spacey and his companies have been ordered by an arbitrator to pay nearly $31 million to MRC, which is the production company behind the show “House of Cards.” Spacey violated the company’s sexual harassment policy, breaching his contract.

MRC canceled a season of the show in 2017 and cut all ties with Spacey after several people came forward accusing him of a pattern of sexually predatory conduct. On Monday, the production company filed a petition in Los Angeles Superior Court to confirm the award, and it was upheld in confidential appeal. Spacey, along with his companies M. Profitt Productions and Trigger Street Productions, will have to pay $29.5 million in damages, $1.2 million in attorneys’ fees, and $235,000 in costs.

In the midst of the Harvey Weinstein scandal in October 2017, Spacey was one of the first major names in Hollywood to be accused. CNN reported in early November of that year that Spacey, who was the star and an executive producer of “House of Cards,” had created a “toxic” environment in the workplace.

Eight production sources said he made crude comments and engaged in non-consensual touching of younger male staffers. Prior to the report, MRC said it had “no knowledge whatsoever” of Spacey’s behavior on set. 

Spacey was suspended immediately awaiting an internal investigation, but producers eventually terminated his contract, writing his character out of the show. When Spacey was suspended, two episodes of the show’s sixth season were already in production, and most of the season was already written. The two episodes were scrapped, and the show ran an eight-episode season instead of the 13 that were planned.

MRC filed the arbitration demand in January 2019, looking to have Spacey cover the costs of ditching the season and starting over. “The safety of our employees, sets and work environments is of paramount importance to MRC and why we set out to push for accountability,” the company said.

ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: VANITY FAIR

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