A Los Angeles judge ruled on Thursday that Kevin Spacey must pay nearly $31 million in damages to the makers of House Of Cards over his firing, Entertainment Weekly reports. The actor was removed from the Netflix series in 2017 amid allegations of misconduct and predatory behavior.
The decision follows a 2020 discovery by a private arbiter that Spacey violated the sexual harassment policy upheld by MRC, the company behind House Of Cards. MRC successfully argued that Spacey’s alleged misconduct cost them a pretty penny after they were forced to remove him from the series and cut the sixth season down by five episodes.
Although he was first faced with the fine last year, Spacey, who has continuously denied allegations against him both in the U.S. and internationally, challenged the sum in open court. His legal team argued that Spacey’s actions were not actually a significant factor in the House Of Cards losses MRC reported.
However, Judge Mel Red Recana was unconvinced. In her ruling, she writes Spacey and his legal team “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,” per court documents. Now, Spacey will be mandated to shell out the $30.9 million he was initially asked to pay.
“We are pleased with the court’s ruling,” MRC counsel Michael Kump said in a statement to EW.
The hefty fine marks just one of the consequences Spacey is currently navigating for an alleged history of predatory harassment and assault dating back over a decade. Last month, Spacey formally pleaded not guilty to multiple charges in the U.K. ahead of a trial that will kick off next summer. Spacey has been charged with four counts of sexual assault from three different men dating back to 2005, as well as one count of “causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent.” Spacey has entered a not guilty plea for all five charges.