Kevin Spacey has renewed his bid to win dismissal of an arbitration ruling ordering him to pay “House of Cards” producer MRC nearly $31 million for alleged sexual misconduct behind the scenes of the Netflix show, arguing the arbitrator wrongfully considered improper evidence when calculating damages.
“The award in favor of petitioners must be vacated due to the fact that the arbitrator exceeded the scope of his powers when he considered extrinsic evidence in deciding damages,” Spacey’s lawyers state in court papers filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court ahead of a July 26 hearing — Spacey’s 63rd birthday — before Judge Mel Red Recana on MRC’s request to confirm the award.
Spacey’s lawyers had initially sought to have the arbitration award vacated when they filed a response to MRC’s petition on Jan. 21.
The arbitrator exceeded the scope of his powers under the agreed-upon terms of the arbitration and, in so doing, committed procedural error, according to Spacey’s attorneys’ new court papers.
The arbitrator concluded that Spacey breached the agreements through his interactions with five specific crew members, who only came forward as part of MRC’s solicitation of allegations against Spacey, including the internal investigation MRC initiated only after Netflix made the decision to exclude Spacey from season six, Spacey’s attorneys further allege in their new court papers.
While Spacey disagrees with the arbitrator’s factual findings and maintains that he did not sexually harass anyone, he understands and accepts that the arbitrator’s findings on that issue “are entitled to deference,” Spacey’s lawyers state in their new court papers.
“However, because the arbitrator committed — namely, the damages awarded to (MRC) are not rationally related to the specific breaches found by the arbitrator — (Spacey) is entitled to an order from this court vacating the award,” according to Spacey’s attorneys’ new court papers.
Spacey played Frank Underwood on House of Cards and was cut from the Netflix series after allegations surfaced 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 arbitration and the ruling in favor or MRC was issued last November.