Kevin Spacey ordered to pay House of Cards producers more than £22m

Kevin Spacey in 2019. Credit: AP

Kevin Spacey has been ordered to pay the studio behind the Netflix show House of Cards more than $30 million (£22.4m) because of losses brought on by his firing for sexual misconduct, a court ruled on Monday.

A document filed in Los Angeles Superior Court ruled that Spacey violated his contract’s demands for professional behaviour.

The document said Spacey engaged in "certain conduct in connection with several crew members in each of the five seasons that he starred in and executive produced House of Cards.”

MRC, the studio behind the popular Netflix show had to fire Spacey, halt production of the show’s sixth season, rewrite it to remove Spacey’s central character, and shorten it from 13 to eight episodes to meet deadlines, resulting in tens of millions in losses, the document said.

House of Cards was one of Netflix's most successful shows. Credit: AP

“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 said in a statement Monday.

Spacey's lawyers argued that the actor’s actions were not a substantial factor in the show’s losses.

The legal wrangling between the two sides has only just been made public, but the documents reveal it went on for three years.

Spacey appealed the decision to a panel of three more private arbitrators, who agreed with the original ruling, making the decision final and public on Monday.

“MRC stood its ground, pursued this case doggedly, and obtained the right result in the end,” plaintiff’s attorney Michael Kump said in a statement.

The 62-year-old Oscar winner’s career came to an abrupt halt late in 2017 as the #MeToo movement gained momentum.

Spacey won a Golden Globe for House of Cards in 2015 Credit: AP

Actor Anthony Rapp, who has appeared in “Rent” on Broadway and film as well as in “Star Trek: Discovery” on television, said Spacey made a sexual advance on him when he was 14 at a party in the 1980s.

At the time, Spacey issued a statement saying he didn’t remember the encounter but apologised.

Several other accusers followed. Some, including Rapp, have filed lawsuits.

Independent investigations found widespread sexual harassment of those who worked under him.

Spacey was fired or removed from several projects including House of Cards where for five seasons he played lead character Frank Underwood, a power-hungry congressman who becomes president.