Kevin Spacey ordered to pay £25.5m to House of Cards producers

Kevin Spacey seen at a House of Cards event in Los Angeles in 2017. Credit: AP

A judge has ordered Kevin Spacey and his production companies to pay House of Cards producers nearly $31m (£25.5m) for the costs involved in removing him from the series following alleged sexual misconduct.

Last year, a document filed in Los Angeles Superior Court ruled that Spacey violated his contract’s demands for professional behaviour, and he was ordered to pay £25.5m to MCR, the studio behind the popular Netflix show.

It said the Hollywood actor had 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.”

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

MRC 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.

Spacey appealed to have the arbitration award to the producers overturned, but his request was denied by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mel Red Recana on Thursday.

The judge said that Spacey and his attorneys “fail to demonstrate that this is even a close case” and "do not demonstrate that the damages award was so utterly irrational that it amounts to an arbitrary remaking of the parties’ contracts”.

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“We are pleased with the court's ruling,” MRC attorney Michael Kump said in an email to The Associated Press.

Spacey’s attorneys argued the decision to exclude him from the show’s sixth season came before the internal investigation that led the crew members to come forward, and so was not part of a contract breach.

They said that the actor's actions were not a substantial factor in the show's losses.

Actor Kevin Spacey leaves the Old Bailey in London.

Spacey, 63, has denied the allegations through his attorneys and his spokesperson.

Last month, Spacey pleaded not guilty in London to charges of sexually assaulting three men a decade or more ago, when he was director of the Old Vic theater there.

His lawyer said he “strenuously denies” the allegations. He is set to face trial next year.