Actor Kevin Spacey was ordered to pay almost $31 million to the studio that produced his hit show “House of Cards.”
A new court finding determined that Spacey violated the studio company’s sexual harassment policy, making him liable.
“The private ruling by an arbitrator was initially handed down more than a year ago, but it only was made public on Monday after lawyers for MRC, the studio behind the Netflix political thriller, filed a petition in Los Angeles Superior Court to confirm the sum would be delivered,” the New York Post reported. “The arbitrator ordered the disgraced award-winning actor and his production companies to pay just shy of $31 million in damages, as well as lawyers’ fees.”
Spacey, who played a main character on “House of Cards,” was also an executive producer of the show. The show aired for six seasons from 2013 to 2018, but as the final season was being filmed, actor Anthony Rapp accused Spacey of making a sexual advance toward him in 1986, when Rapp was 14.
Within weeks, several more men came out with allegations against the actor. MRC said the studio was forced to quickly write Spacey’s character out of the show and shut down production
“MRC stood its ground, pursued this case doggedly, and obtained the right result in the end,” the studio’s lawyer, Michael Kump, said in a statement to CNBC.
“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 added.
In December 2019, Spacey, whose real name is Kevin Spacey Fowler, settled a lawsuit filed by a now-deceased man who accused the actor of sexual assault, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The man, a massage therapist known only as “John Doe,” accused the “Usual Suspects” actor of forcing him to grab his genitals twice during a massage session in Malibu.
No terms of the deal were made public, The Hollywood Reporter said, adding, “Attorneys for Spacey and the special administrator filed a stipulation to dismiss the case with prejudice (meaning claims can’t be refiled).”
Also in December 2019, Spacey took to social media to post a “Frank Underwood”-type video, channeling his “House of Cards” character.
“You didn’t really think I was going to miss the opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas, did you?” Spacey told viewers in a video titled “KTWK.” “It’s been a pretty good year, and I’m grateful to have my health back. And in light of that, I’ve made some changes in my life and I’d like to invite you to join me.”
“As we walk into 2020, I want to cast my vote for more good in this world,” the actor said. “Ah yes, I know what you’re thinking. Can he be serious? I’m dead serious. And it’s not that hard, trust me. The next time someone does something you don’t like, you can go on the attack. But you can also hold your fire and do the unexpected. You can kill them with kindness.”
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