Kevin Spacey was fined $31 million for House of Cards contract breach

House of Cards, Kevin Spacey, Kevin Spacey sued

Kevin Spacey is back in the news after being hit with a $31 million fine for sexual misconduct behind the scenes of Netflix‘s House of Cards. The penalty comes after two years of deliberations behind closed doors, with payment going to House of Cards producer MRC. Per THR, MRC filed papers in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday, seeking to confirm the arbitration award.

Spacey, who played Frank Underwood on House of Cards, was ousted from the award-winning political drama when allegations of sexually preying upon young men were made public. The accusations, which included groping of a production assistant, prompted MRC to launch an investigation. When evidence pointed toward Spacey’s criminal acts, his acting and producing contracts were terminated. The argument then got pushed up the ladder to JAMS, where both sides of the fence went to war.

According to the latest filing, the arbitrator in an Oct. 19 decision concluded that Spacey repeatedly breached contractual obligations to provide services “in a professional manner” and “consistent with [MRC’s] reasonable directions, practices, and policies,” including anti-harassment policies.

The JAMS arbitrator also argued that MRC had suffered from Spacey’s conduct including having to pause the sixth season of House of Cards, rewrite the season, and shorten it from 13 to eight episodes to meet a delivery deadline. However, according to Spacey, he was still entitled to certain payments under his “pay or play” deal for the show. He then argued that it was MRC and Netflix who decided to terminate his involvement with the show and not his conduct in earlier seasons. Spacey’s argument didn’t fly so well during the arbitration process.

“The safety of our employees, sets, and work environments is of paramount importance to MRC and why we set out to push for accountability,” said MRC in a statement following the filing.

“It was a privilege representing MRC in this matter,” said Kinsella Weitzman partner Michael Kump. “MRC stood its ground, pursued this case doggedly, and obtained the right result in the end.”

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.