Kevin Spacey, who played Frank Underwood in House of Cards, will pay nearly $31 million to the show’s producers, MRC Entertainment, for breaching the company’s policy on sexual harassment, according to a People report.
Spacey’s name featured alongside the likes of Harvey Weinstein in the #MeToo movement.
He was first accused of sexual misconduct by actor Anthony Rapp, in 2017. The latter, best known for Star Trek: Discovery, alleged that Spacey had made a sexual advance towards him in 1986, when Rapp was only 14. Several similar complaints followed, including from those who worked on House of Cards. Consequently, Spacey was ousted from the Netflix show in which he played the lead character and served as an executive producer. Netflix also cancelled Gore, a biopic on Gore Vidal starring Spacey.
MRC Entertainment later sued Spacey for breach of contract, in January 2019, and claimed that the House of Cards production suffered “substantial losses” due to his behaviour.
While the actor was ordered to compensate the studio the last year, this only came to light on Monday after MRC filed a petition at the Los Angeles Superior Court to confirm the award.
Spacey and his production companies, M Profitt Productions and Trigger Street Productions, were ordered to pay $29.5 million in damages, plus $1.2 million in attorneys’ fees and $235,000 in additional costs.
“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 on Monday.
At least 20 men reported sexual misconduct by Spacey at the London theatre, the Old Vic, between 1996 and 2013. As of May 2021, investigators in London had not clarified whether they would bring criminal charges against Spacey over these accusations.
The Academy Award-winning actor last appeared on the big screen in Billionaire Boys Club in 2018 and has since been either removed or replaced from his remaining projects.
Billionaire Boys Club reportedly fared poorly at the box office, making a record-low gross of $618 from 11 theatres in the USA in its opening weekend.
The actor is set to return to the screen after four years with a cameo in the Italian film L’uomo Che Disegnò Dio, Variety reported in May. He will play the role of a police detective in the Franco Nero film.