Kevin Spacey has lost a bid to overturn a court decision that ordered him to pay nearly $31 million (£25.5 million) to the studio behind House of Cards.
In November, the Hollywood actor was made to pay independent production company Media Rights Capital (MRC) the sum following the “explosive” sexual assault and misconduct accusations from young crew members,
The 63-year-old filed to capsize the ruling, but Los Angeles County judge Mel Recana dismissed his application on Thursday (4 August), according to documents obtained by the PA Media news agency.
Recana wrote in her decision: “Respondents fail to demonstrate that this is even a close case. Respondents do not demonstrate that the damages award was so utterly irrational that it amounts to an arbitrary remaking of the parties’ contracts.
“Respondents do not show that the arbitrator acted beyond his authority under the scope of the parties’ arbitration agreements.”
The sum will make up for the millions in lost revenue MRC suffered after firing Spacey in 2017 from the Netflix show after actor Anthony Rapp accused Spacey of making a sexual advance toward him in 1986.
Rapp would have been only 14 at the time.
MRC lodged a lawsuit to the Los Angeles Superior Court in January 2019, arguing that Spacey’s behaviour violated the studio’s anti-harassment policies.
The original filings from MRC detail how Spacey was “systematically preying upon, sexually harassing, and groping young men that he had worked with throughout his career on film, television, and theatre projects”.
Kevin Spaced in House Of Cards. (Netflix)
The arbitrator concluded that Spacey had breached his contractual obligations to provide services “in a professional manner” that was “consistent with [MRC’s] reasonable directions, practices and policies”.
Spacey had starred in five seasons of the show, playing the manipulative and maniacal politician Frank Underwood. But his firing threw the show into uncertainty, with millions already spent developing, writing and shooting the season.
The November hearing found that the Oscar and Tony-winning star was not entitled to be paid for the remainder of his contract as his layoff caused the show’s sixth season to be shortened and rewritten altogether.
At the Central Criminal Court in July, Spacey denied four counts of sexual assault and one count of causing penetrative sexual activity without consent.
The alleged offences took place in London and Gloucestershire between 2005 and 2013. Spacey’s most severe charge is forcing a man to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent which can only be tried in a Crown Court.
He said: “While I am disappointed with their decision to move forward, I will voluntarily appear in the UK as soon as can be arranged and defend myself against these charges, which I am confident will prove my innocence.”