The production company behind House of Cards has been awarded more than $30 million after an arbitrator found disgraced star Kevin Spacey, who was fired over sexual misconduct allegations, breached his contract.
MRC was awarded $31 million in the arbitration case after alleging it lost millions of dollars due to Spacey's removal from the show in 2017, The Wall Street Journal reports. The arbitrator ruled that Spacey violated MRC's sexual harassment policy and ordered the actor and his production companies to pay $29.5 million in damages and $1.2 million in attorneys' fees, according to Variety.
Spacey starred on the Netflix political drama House of Cards for five seasons, and production on a sixth season was underway when the actor was accused of sexual misconduct in 2017. After Spacey was fired from the series over the allegations, two episodes had to be scrapped as the season was rewritten to excise his character. MRC alleged it suffered millions in damages as a result, while the actor filed a counterclaim alleging MRC owed him money, The Hollywood Reporter reports.
MRC alleged it conducted an investigation finding that Spacey "breached provisions of both the acting and executive producing agreements that set standards for his workplace conduct, including by breaching MRC's harassment policy," per the Journal. The arbitrator determined Spacey, who was accused of groping a production assistant on the show, was liable due to his "egregious breaches of contract," Variety reports.
Spacey apologized in 2017 after actor Anthony Rapp alleged the actor made a sexual advance toward him when he was 14, and numerous other accusers subsequently came forward to accuse him of harassment or assault. In 2019, a charge against Spacey was dismissed after the accuser pleaded the fifth.
MRC in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter celebrated the ruling, saying it "set out to push for accountability" because the "safety of our employees, sets and work environments is of paramount importance."