Kevin Spacey Has His Offer To Annul a $31 Million Arbitration He Had To Pay House of cards producer MRC for sexual misconduct involving young crew members behind the scenes of the Netflix series.
Spacey was dropped during the sixth season of the Netflix series after allegations surfaced that he preyed on young men. The dispute was referred to arbitration, where an arbitrator found that the actor had breached his contract by violating anti-harassment policies and failing to provide services “in a professional manner”. The arbitrator also found that Spacey was not entitled to payment for the remainder of his contract, even though it contained a pay-or-play provision, and that his violations resulted in the show’s sixth season being shortened and rewritten and MRC took eight. -figures in costs and lost income.
The actor’s legal team fired back, challenging the award in public court, claiming it was “steeped in factual and legal error — most fundamentally, the finding that MRC proved through a preponderance of evidence that Spacey five former [House of Cards] crew members.” His attorneys argued that Spacey “participated in a ubiquitous culture on set that was filled with sexual innuendo, jokes, and innocent horseplay,” but never harassed anyone and when told that “his behavior made anyone feel uncomfortable or was in any way unwanted, he stopped.”
Judge Mel Red Recana of the Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday confirmed the award and took a preliminary ruling after hearing pleadings.
“The arbitrator’s conclusion that the defendants’ violation caused the aforementioned harm is a finding of fact that the court generally cannot verify for error,” explains Recana in the ruling, posted below. “Further, the court cannot assess the adequacy of the evidence in support of the arbitral award. A panel of three arbitrators also upheld the arbitrator’s final ruling in a proceeding under the JAMS Optional Arbitration Appeals Procedure.”
Recana stressed that in order to be quashed, an arbitrator’s decision must generally be “completely irrational”, which is not the case here.
“We are happy with the court’s ruling,” MRC’s lawyer Michael Kump . told me THR.
MRC is co-owner of News Kidda through a joint venture with Penske Media Corporation called PMRC.