Kevin Spacey ordered to pay $31 million to House of Cards studio over alleged misconduct

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Kevin Spacey has been ordered to pay $31 million (£23 million) to the production company behind House of Cards to cover losses they incurred after he was fired for alleged sexual misconduct.

Officials for MRC, the production company behind the Netflix series, filed a petition in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday to confirm that an arbitrator had ordered the actor to pay almost $31 million to them after finding that he breached his contract by violating their sexual harassment policy.

According to Variety, the 62-year-old and his companies, M. Profitt Productions and Trigger Street Productions, were ordered to pay $29.5 million (£22 million) in damages as well as $1.2 million (£900,000) in attorneys' fees and $235,000 (£176,000) in costs.

Spacey, who executive produced and played Frank Underwood on the show, left the production in chaos during the middle of season six after he was accused of sexual misconduct by Rent star Anthony Rapp in October 2017. Subsequently, a number of House of Cards staffers accused Spacey of making crude comments and engaging in non-consensual touching. After an internal investigation, the actor was terminated from the show, forcing two episodes to be shelved and most of season six to be rewritten.

MRC bosses originally filed the confidential arbitration documents in January 2019 to recover the costs of scrapping the season and starting over. Spacey filed a counterclaim, accusing them of wrongfully terminating his contract. However, after a series of depositions involving more than 20 people, a confidential hearing took place in February 2020 and a ruling in MRC's favour was issued that July.

Rapp sued the Oscar winner in federal court last year over the psychological injuries he has suffered since Spacey allegedly made unwanted sexual advances toward him in 1986, and the case is still pending. Several other cases against Spacey have been dropped.

In a statement at the time, Spacey insisted he did not remember the alleged encounter and apologised for "what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behaviour".

House of Cards ended with the sixth season, which aired in 2018.

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