Kevin Spacey and his production companies legally owe the producers of House of Cards—the Netflix series in which he played conniving politician Frank Underwood—nearly $31 million, a judge ruled on Thursday.
The Oscar winner was fired from his show in 2017 amid allegations of sexual harassment from crew members, accusations which Spacey has denied. (Vanity Fair has reached out to an attorney for Spacey for comment.) As a result of his firing, production on House of Cards season six was delayed and the episode count shrunk from 13 to 8 as the creative team shuffled narrative focus to Robin Wright‘s character, Claire Underwood.
According to the Associated Press, Los Angeles Superior Court judge Flour Red Recana ordered that Spacey must pay the sum to MRC and other production companies for those losses, upholding the ruling made against Spacey from a private arbitrator in November. Previously, an arbitrator determined that Spacey had violated his contract’s professional behavior requirements by “engaging certain conduct in connection with several crew members in each of the five seasons that he starred in and executive produced house of cards,” according to a filing from the MRC attorney Michael Kump requesting the approval.
During the appeal process, Spacey’s legal team had argued that producers’ decision to write Frank Underwood out of the sixth season of House of Cards arrived prior to an internal investigation in which crew members spoke out against their client, according to AP. They also argued that Spacey’s activity did not play a major factor in the show’s monetary losses. In rejecting the actor’s appeal, Recana wrote that Spacey and his attorneys “fail to demonstrate that this is even a close case” and “do not demonstrate that the damages award was so utterly irrational that it amounts to an arbitrary remaking of the parties’ contracts .”
“We are pleased with the court’s ruling,” Kump said in an email to the Associated Press.
Last month, Spacey pleaded not guilty in a London court to four counts of sexual assault and one count of causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent. Spacey’s next trial date is set for June 6, 2023.