Kevin Spacey ordered to pay $31m to House of Cards producers

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Kevin Spacey appeared in House Of Cards for five seasons before being cut from the show

A judge has ordered Kevin Spacey to pay House of Cards producers $31m (£25.5m) for the costs involved in removing him from the series following sexual misconduct allegations.

The US actor was ordered last year to pay entertainment company MRC after claims of misconduct with young crew members, which he denies.

Spacey appealed to have the arbitration award to the producers overturned.

But his request was denied by a judge in Los Angeles on Thursday.

MRC argued that Spacey owed them millions in lost profits because his alleged misconduct meant he had to be removed from the sixth season of the Netflix political drama, and the number of episodes had to be cut from 13 episodes to eight.

Earlier this year, Spacey's lawyers attempted to have the $31m award thrown out, saying his behaviour amounted to nothing more than "sexual innuendos" and "innocent horseplay" and did not violate MRC's anti-harassment policy.

But on Thursday, Judge Mel Red Recana said Spacey and his legal team "fail to demonstrate that this is even a close case", and confirmed Spacey would have to pay the award, which was previously handed down by an arbitrator in October 2020.

The $31m is understood to have consisted of around $29.5 million in damages and $1.5 million in costs and fees.

MRC attorney Michael Kump said: "We are pleased with the court's ruling."

The original filings from MRC, obtained by the PA news agency, showed how Spacey was cut from the hit Netflix political drama series following allegations he was "systematically preying upon, sexually harassing, and groping young men that he had worked with throughout his career on film, television, and theatre projects".

The arbitrator concluded that Spacey had repeatedly breached contractual obligations to provide services "in a professional manner" which were "consistent with reasonable directions, practices and policies".

Spacey, 63, starred in House Of Cards for five seasons, playing the ruthless politician Frank Underwood, before being cut from the show following the allegations.

He appeared at the Old Bailey in London last month to "strenuously" deny allegations of sexual assault by three men, dating back 17 years to when Spacey was artistic director at The Old Vic theatre.

A trial will take place in June 2023, with a pre-hearing expected to take place early next year.

Spacey is also due to face a civil case, brought by his first public accuser, actor Anthony Rapp, in New York in October.

In 2017, the Hollywood star made an apology after being accused of making a sexual advance toward the former child actor.