by Ana Chevalier
Kevin Spacey News: As The Independent Observer reported earlier, a petition filed by Kevin Spacey’s attorneys seeks to overturn an Arbitrator’s judgment in favor of the Ozark and House of Cards (HOC) production company MRC to the tune of $31 million.
Two-time Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey was fired by MRC mere hours after a CNN article, citing only anonymous sources, claiming the star had sexually assaulted an HOC crew member and harassed several others.
MRC sued Spacey and his production company for the loss of revenue and expenses, following Netflix’s refusal to comply with their original agreement of thirteen episodes for the final season of HOC. After multiple rounds of negotiations, Netflix finally agreed to wrap up the series with eight episodes—but only if they excluded Spacey.
MRC’s position in the suit asserted Spacey was on the hook for damages because he specifically breached MRC conduct agreements with specific crew members.
But as court documents show, there’s a big problem with that timeline.
MRC, Netflix: The Timeline Paradox
There were six crew members interviewed in video depositions as part of the MRC/ Kevin Spacey dispute arbitration process.
Only one crew member alleged actual sexual assault, and his story was found to be “uncredible” by the Arbitrator and disregarded. (This person is believed to be the anonymous “production assistant” in the CNN article that preceded Netflix cutting Spacey from House of Cards.)
The remaining incidents of alleged misconduct against Spacey came to light after an internal investigation by MRC. The deposed crew members allege Spacey had engaged in unwanted conduct towards them.
The Arbitrator also found that the “few times” Spacey made aware his conduct had caused someone to “feel uncomfortable or was in any way unwanted, he stopped.”
The video depositions from the five “credible” crew members took place in February of 2020, almost three years after Kevin Spacey was fired from HOC.
Furthermore, both Netflix and MRC made official statements on November 2nd of 2017 (the same date of the CNN article) that, apart from an unrelated incident five years prior, they were unaware of any other complaints or incidents on-set.
Addressing the 2012 incident, MRC said in a statement that “the issue was resolved promptly to the satisfaction of all involved,” adding “Mr. Spacey willingly participated in a training process and since that time MRC has not been made aware of any other complaints involving Mr. Spacey.”
Netflix Cancels Kevin Spacey
Netflix “canceled” Spacey, who was in turn fired by MRC for his alleged conduct against the five specific crewmembers—without so much as a single on-set complaint filed.
MRC has not been made aware of any …complaints involving Mr. Spacey.MRC Official Statement, Issued November 2, 2017
MRC would not come up with complaints against Spacey or supporting statements from crew members until much later.
Did Arbritrator Side With #MeToo?
Despite the fact that both parties (Spacey and MRC) entered into arbitration with the understanding that the rulings would be final, Spacey’s attorneys have sought to reverse the financial judgment against Spacey.
In the petition filed by Spacey’s attorneys, they argue that the Court should “apply common sense and basic logic—both of which appear to have been discarded by the Arbitrator in his effort to avoid the risk of being seen as siding with Spacey and against the #MeToo movement, and to dispense his own brand of justice.”
Adding, that the Arbitrator recognized “the reduction in episodes was a foregone conclusion once Netflix dictated [to MRC] that Spacey could not and would not be a part of Season 6.”
Spacey’s Lawyers To MRC Contract: Where’s The Breach?
In the seventeen page response to the petition for award, one line stands out above all others.
“What the Arbitrator ignored is that the conduct he found to be in breach of the Agreements was not even known by Netflix at the time it made this decision.”
In other words, Netflix and MRC could not have possibly known about any breaches of conduct when they canceled Kevin Spacey. They didn’t exist.
The official “proof” that those breaches existed in the first place only conveniently came to light through MRC’s own, internal, investigation after they had already fired Kevin Spacey.
The Spacey Precident: Potentially Bad News For Creatives Who Want To Get Paid
Any company facing unexpected expenses to the tune of $31 million—like MRC was—is remarkably fortunate to find precisely what they need through an investigation they fund and manage themselves.
Well done, indeed.
As part of The Independent Observer’s commitment to this story, we will be providing ongoing coverage of Rapp’s lawsuit against Kevin Spacey, sexual assault allegations, production company arbitration, and where is Kevin Spacey now.
SPECIAL TO THE INDEPENDENT OBSERVER
Ana Chevalier (www.anachevalier.com, @TheOfficialAnaC) is an award-winning author, former journalist, and playwright. Her work has appeared in global publications including Toronto Star, Baltimore Sun, The Independent (UK), The Telegraph (UK), The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Jerusalem Post, Forbes, YahooNews, and many more. Ana is a former child-actor/ entertainer, winning multiple awards for her work. She has worked with Emmy, Golden Globe, Oscar, and Tony award winners (EGOT!) and Grand Ole Opry members on a variety of projects on and off-stage.