An arbitrator ended a two-year legal battle between disgraced actor Kevin Spacey and the production company that oversaw Netflix series House of Cards, ruling in favor of MRC and awarding the company $31 million.
Spacey starred in the political-themed series that spearheaded Netflix's rise to original content prominence. However, a cascading chain of sexual misconduct allegations against the award-winning actor, starting in 2017 and culminating with a damning investigation of Spacey's behavior on the set of House of Cards, effectively ended his career as a movie and TV star.
Spacey was fired by MRC with two season six episodes of House of Cards already shot, and the full season of scripts already written.
House of Cards hoisted a truncated eight-episode sixth and final season in 2018 before leaving Netflix for good.
In its litigation, MRC effectively argued that Spacey breached his contract, forcing the production company to trash the two previously produced installments and rewrite season six with Spacey's Francis Underwood written out.
Spacey, meanwhile, filed suit against MRC for wrongful termination.
The arbitrator heard the testimony of 20 people in the run-up to an eight-day hearing in February 2020. A confidential ruling was issued, in MRC's favor, back in July.
And on Monday, MRC filed a petition with the Los Angeles Superior Court, seeking to have the arbitrator's ruling confirmed.
“With one exception, the Arbitrator found the third party witnesses to be credible, and found the allegations against Spacey to be true,” the petition states. “The Arbitrator found that Spacey’s conduct constituted a material breach of his acting and executive producing agreements with MRC, and that his breaches excused MRC’s obligations to pay him any further compensation in connection with the show.” ■
Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!
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