Kevin Spacey suffered a major loss in his legal battle with MRC, the production company responsible for Netflix's House of Cards. MRC filed a lawsuit against the actor over the lost revenue due to his abrupt firing, which stemmed from sexual assault allegations levied against him.
Deadline reports MRC was awarded $29.5 million in damages and $1.4 million in attorneys fees and costs. The 46-page ruling was previously kept under wraps but was made public after the company sought to confirm the awarded funds coming its way. Spacey, on behalf of himself as well as his production entities Profitt Productions and Trigger Street Productions, also sought to appeal the three-judge panel's decision, but it was denied.
MRC released a statement following the news. "The safety of our employees, sets and work environments is of paramount importance to MRC and why we set out to push for accountability," it read.
Arbitrator Bruce Friedman says in the ruling that he "found that Spacey — as a result of certain conduct in connection with several crew members in each of the five seasons that he starred in and executive produced House of Cards — had repeatedly breached his contractual obligations to provide his services 'in a professional manner' and 'consistent with [MRC's] reasonable directions, practices, and policies,' including MRC's Harassment Policy — all without the knowledge of MRC."
"It was a privilege representing MRC in this matter. MRC stood its ground, pursued this case doggedly, and obtained the right result in the end," MRC's attorney Michael Kump of Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump Holley LLP said.
Sexual misconduct allegations against Spacey first surfaced in 2017. Spacey responded to the accusations, at the time, with a statement on Twitter acknowledging that he'd interacted with the actor making the claims at some point during his career, but said he had no recollection of the encounter. "I have a lot of respect and admiration for Anthony Rapp as an actor. I'm beyond horrified to hear his story. I honestly do not remember the encounter, it would have been over 30 years ago. But, if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would've been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior, and I am sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him for all these years," he said in his apology. He continued, using the moment to come out publicly. "As those closest to me know, in my life I have had relationships with both men and women. I have loved and had romantic encounters with men throughout my life, and I choose now to live as a gay man," he wrote.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.