An arbitrator ruled that the 63-year-old actor breached his contract with theproduction company when he was fired from House of Cards in 2017 amid allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct.
The ruling, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, awarded $29.5 million in damages and $1.4 million in attorneys fees and costs to MRC.
In 2017, multiple people came forward against Spacey to allege a pattern of sexually predatory conduct, and he’s denied the allegations. MRC immediately suspended Spacey after a CNN report in November 2017 claimed that he made the House of Cards set a “toxic environment” through a pattern of sexual harassment, and Netflix ultimately cut all ties with him ahead of House of Cards‘ sixth and final season.
Court documents obtained in November state that the arbitrator in the hearing found that “Spacey’s conduct constituted a material breach of his acting and executive producing agreements with MRC, and that his breaches excused MRC’s obligations to pay him any further compensation in connection with the Show.”
The court documents continued, “The Arbitrator further found that Spacey’s egregious breaches of contract proximately caused and rendered him (and his affiliated entities) liable for the tens of millions of dollars in losses MRC suffered when it had no choice, upon the revelations of Spacey’s pattern of harassment, to halt the production of Season 6 of the Show, to rewrite the entire season to omit Spacey’s character, and to shorten Season 6 from 13 to 8 episodes to meet delivery deadlines.”
This legal development comes a few weeks after Spacey pleaded not guilty in a courtroom in London to four charges of sexual assault against three men, related to incidents that allegedly took place between 2005 and 2013. He also pleaded not guilty to one count of “causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent.”
The judge in the case told Spacey and his lawyers that a trial — which is expected to last between three and four weeks — would start June 6, 2023.