The disgraced actor, who starred on the Netflix show from 2013-17, was accused of preying on multiple young men. The accusations led to an investigation by the production company, which ultimately resulted in his termination from the show and any contracts he had with the company.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mel Red Recana ruled in favor of MRC, awarding them $29.5 million in damages and an additional $1.5 million in attorney’s fees and costs, Deadline reports.
“Here, [Spacey] fails to demonstrate that this is even a close case,” the judge said.
An arbitrator had previously reviewed eight days of testimony in November 2021 and ruled in favor of Media Rights Capital (MRC), with the company being awarded the damages due to lost revenue.
At the time, the arbitrator deemed Spacey’s conduct “constituted a material breach of his acting and executive producing agreements.”
The judge read an article that referenced MRC’s investigation of the accusations. The judge based their decision on the findings of the investigation, which led to the actor being suspended from the show and having his executive producing contracts terminated.
Arbitration determined that Spacey’s interactions with crew members after the incidents were not allowed by the agreement
Jonathan E. Phillips, Spacey’s attorney, reportedly argued that the award should be vacated. He said the arbitrator “exceeded the scope of his powers when he considered external evidence in deciding damages.”
He added in court papers, “However, because the arbitrator committed — namely, the damages awarded to [MRC] are not rationally related to the specific breaches found by the arbitrator — [Spacey] is entitled to an order from this court vacating the award.”
Recana wrote he was “not compelled to infer that the arbitrator’s award was not based on the breach of the parties’ agreements or that it was based on an [external] source.”
Spacey starred as Frank Underwood on the television series, but was replaced by Robin Wright as the lead for the last season. The final season was shortened to thirteen episodes following Spacey’s sexual misconduct allegations.
Spacey’s lawyers tried to get the $31 million arbitration thrown out in January. They said that Spacey’s on-set actions were just “sexual innuendos” and “innocent horseplay.”
Spacey was charged with four counts of sexual assault and one count of “forcing someone to have sex without their permission” in May by the Crown Prosecution Service in the United Kingdom.
The three alleged victims of these assaults are now in their 30s and 40s. The incidents took place between 2005 and 2013, in London and western England.
In 2017, the Academy Award-winner’s career came to an abrupt halt when actor Anthony Rapp accused the star of assaulting him at a party in the 1980s.
Spacey denies the allegations and is currently trying to get a sex abuse lawsuit from Rapp in New York dismissed.
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