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Kevin Spacey ordered to pay $31 million to House of Cards producers

A judge dismissed the actor's appeal against an earlier verdict.

2022-08-05

Words: Alastair James; pictures: Television Academy/YouTube

Kevin Spacey has been ordered to pay $31 million to the makers of the Netflix show House of Cards after he was sacked following sexual harassment allegations.

The actor, 63, was fired in 2017 after the allegations came to light when RENT actor Anthony Rapp claimed Spacey had made advances on him when he was 14. This led to others coming forward and Spacey being fired from the hit Netflix show and other projects.

Spacey was then written out of the sixth season of House of Cards, which was also shortened from 13 episodes to eight as a result. 

On Thursday (4 August) Spacey lost an appeal against having to pay the $31 million. As reported by The Guardian, the PA news agency has seen documents reading that Spacey's 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". 

MRC, the company behind House of Cards, is said to be pleased with the ruling. 

Last year it was revealed that MRC had filed for damages to be paid because Spacey breached his contract following the allegations of sexual harassment against him.

The Guardian reports that in the original case the arbitrator concluded Spacey shouldn't have to be paid for the remainder of his contract as his firing had cost MRC millions of dollars in reworking House of Cards.

In July the actor pleaded not guilty to five charges of sexual assault against three men. 

Spacey has been charged with two counts of sexual assault against a now 40-year-old man relating to an incident in London in March 2005. There is also one charge of sexual assault on a now 30-year-old man, and causing him to engage in non-consensual penetrative sex in London in August 2008.

One charge of sexual assault relates to another now 30-year-old man in Gloucestershire in April 2013, during Spacey's tenure as the Artistic Director at the Old Vic Theatre in London. 

A trial has been set in the UK for June 2023, with an earlier hearing due to happen. 

Spacey is also facing a case against Rapp, which is due to be heard in New York in October.