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Kevin Spacey Ordered to Pay ‘House of Cards' Studio Nearly $31 Million for Contract Breach

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  • An arbitrator last year ordered Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey to pay nearly $31 million to the studio behind Netflix's "House of Cards" for breaching his contract, a new court filing shows.
  • Spacey was found to have violated the sexual harassment policy of MRC, according to the Los Angeles court petition.
  • MRC severed ties to Spacey, who starred on "House of Cards," in 2017 after multiple people came forward to allege a pattern of sexual harassment and misconduct by the Academy Award winner.

Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey was ordered last year to pay nearly $31 million to the studio behind Netflix's "House of Cards" for breaching his contract by violating the company's sexual harassment policy, a court filing revealed Monday.

The bombshell arbitration award came to light when the studio, MRC, filed a petition in Los Angeles Superior Court seeking to confirm the money would be delivered.

Spacey and his production companies, M. Profitt Productions and Trigger Street Productions, were ordered to pay $29.5 million in damages, $1.2 million in attorneys' fees and $235,000 in additional costs.

"MRC stood its ground, pursued this case doggedly, and obtained the right result in the end," said the studio's lawyer, Michael Kump, founding partner of the Santa Monica-based firm Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump Holley.

MRC is an independent studio that has worked on Netflix's "Ozarks," Hulu's "The Great" and Apple TV+'s "The Shrink Next Door."

MRC severed ties to Spacey, who starred on "House of Cards," in 2017 after multiple people came forward to allege a pattern of sexual harassment and misconduct by the Academy Award winner. Spacey was accused of systematically preying upon, sexually harassing and groping young men that he worked with throughout his career.

The studio then scrapped the sixth and final season of the popular streaming show in 2017, before rewriting it without his character, President Frank Underwood, and reducing its episode number from 13 to eight.

MRC later filed an arbitration action against Spacey for breach of contract, claiming he had cost the production tens of millions of dollars with his behavior. Those arbitration proceedings were conducted out of the public eye.

"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.

The case was decided in MRC's favor by an arbitrator in October 2020. The arbitrator in their decision found that Spacey had repeatedly breached his contractual obligations by "certain conduct in connection with several crew members in each of the five seasons that he starred in and executive produced" the show.

Spacey later appealed the arbitrator's ruling, but it was denied this month.

Representatives for Spacey did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.

Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. Comcast owns a stake in Hulu.

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