Kevin Spacey Must Pay 'House of Cards' Studio $31M for Losses Brought On By His Firing

Actor Kevin Spacey must pay MRC, the production company behind the Netflix series House of Cards, $31 million for losses it suffered after firing him, an arbitration panel decided Monday.

The Associated Press reported that the decision came after three years of legal battles, an eight-day evidentiary hearing kept secret from the public and an appeal to a panel of arbitrators, who found for the plaintiffs, making the decision final.

The arbitrators found that Spacey violated his contract's requirement for professional behavior by "engaging certain conduct in connection with several crew members in each of the five seasons that he starred in and executive produced House of Cards."

Amid the 2017 #MeToo movement, actor Anthony Rapp said that Spacey made a sexual advance on him when he was 14. Since then, several other accusers have followed, and an investigation found that Spacey sexually harassed some people who worked under him.

Because Spacey played the show's central character, showrunners had to halt production and rewrite the sixth season. Due to deadlines, they had to shorten the season by five episodes, resulting in tens of millions of dollars in losses.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Kevin Spacey, sexual misconduct
Actor Kevin Spacey and his production companies must pay the studio behind “House of Cards” more than $30 million because of losses due to his firing from the show for sexual misconduct, according to an arbitration decision issued on November 22, 2021. Above, Spacey arrives at district court on January 7, 2019, in Nantucket, Massachusetts, to be arraigned on a charge of indecent assault and battery. Steven Senne, File/AP Photo

"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.

A representative for Spacey did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. His attorneys argued that the actor's actions were not a substantial factor in the show's losses.

The 62-year-old Oscar winner's career came to an abrupt halt late in 2017 as the #MeToo movement gained momentum.

Rapp, who has appeared in Rent on Broadway and film as well as in Star Trek: Discovery on television, said Spacey made a sexual advance on him when he was 14 at a party in the 1980s.

At the time, Spacey issued a statement saying he didn't remember the encounter but apologized.

Several other accusers followed. Some, including Rapp, have filed lawsuits.

Spacey was fired or removed from several projects, most notably House of Cards, the Netflix political thriller where for five seasons he played lead character Frank Underwood, a power-hungry congressman who becomes president.

The one criminal case brought against him, an indecent assault and battery charge stemming from the alleged groping of an 18-year-old man at a Nantucket resort, was dismissed by Massachusetts prosecutors in 2019.

House of Cards, Netflix, MRC
MRC had to completely change the sixth season of "House of Cards" following Kevin Spacey's firing amid sexual misconduct allegations, costing the studio millions of dollars. Above, Stacey Wilson Hunt, Robin Wright, Michael Kelly, Frank Pugliese and Melissa Gibson speak at the Netflix "House of Cards" FYSEE Event at Raleigh Studios on June 4, 2019, in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Netflix