An arbitrator has ordered Kevin Spacey to pay nearly $31 million to Media Rights Capital, the production company behind House of Cards, after determining that he “repeatedly breached his contractual obligations” by violating the company’s sexual harassment policy, Variety reports.
The award comes after Spacey’s contract was terminated in 2017 following an investigation into several sexual misconduct accusations from multiple House of Cards employees. His dismissal occurred in the early stages of production on the sixth and final season of the Netflix series. The two episodes that were already in the can were scrapped, and the show was forced to pivot, axing his character, Frank Underwood, and cutting down the number of episodes from 13 to 8.
MRC filed a confidential arbitration demand in Jan. 2019 in an attempt to recover the money lost due to the abrupt course change. Spacey filed a counterclaim, accusing the production company wrongfully terminating his contract and violating the “pay or play” obligation in their agreement.
Following an investigation that included a confidential arbitration hearing which lasted eight days and saw depositions from over 20 people, the arbitrator found that “Spacey’s egregious breaches of contract” made him liable for the financial hit to MRC that totaled tens of millions of dollars.
Spacey and his companies, M. Profitt Productions and Trigger Street Productions, will be required to pay $29.5 million in damages, with $1.2 million covering lawyers’ fees and $235,000 in additional costs.
In May, Spacey landed his first role since sexual misconduct allegations came flooding in. He will star in the Italian film L’uomo Che Disegno Dio, opposite Vanessa Redgrave, wife of the film’s director Franco Nero.