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Kevin Spacey is seeking to toss out an arbitration ruling that he must pay House of Cards producer MRC nearly $31 million for alleged sexual misconduct behind the scenes of the Netflix political series.
After MRC filed papers in Los Angeles Superior Court seeking to confirm the arbitration award, Spacey’s attorneys have responded by urging the court to deny the petition and vacate the monetary award.
“The award is permeated with factual and legal errors — most fundamentally, its finding that MRC proved by a preponderance of the evidence that Spacey sexually harassed five former [House of Cards] crewmembers. The truth is that while Spacey participated in a pervasive on-set culture that was filled with sexual innuendoes, jokes and innocent horseplay, he never sexually harassed anyone,” Spacey’s legal team contends in the legal filing.
Spacey, who played Frank Underwood on House of Cards, was cut from the Netflix series following explosive allegations of him sexually preying on young men. The accusations, which included that he allegedly groped a production assistant, caused MRC to conduct an investigation and ultimately terminate his acting and producing contracts.
The dispute then went to private dispute resolution service JAMS, formerly known as Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services, where both sides pursued claims against the other, culminating in a November 2021 ruling against Spacey. Attorneys for the Oscar winner, whose career has been in free fall since he was accused of multiple instances of sexual misconduct, argued that he exercised restraint on set.
“[T]he few times Spacey was told that his conduct made someone feel uncomfortable or was in any way unwanted, he stopped,” his legal team wrote. The arbitration ruling found that MRC distribution suffered almost $30 million in lost profits caused by the reduction of season six of House of Cards from 13 to eight episodes.
MRC is a co-owner of The Hollywood Reporter through a joint venture with Penske Media Corporation called PMRC.
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