Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Ashley Judd suit claims Harvey Weinstein 'torpedoed' career

PBS 2015 Winter TCA CREDIT Richard Shotwell Invision AP REX
Diane Mills | 01 May, 2018, 09:26

Actress Ashley Judd and her lawyers have filed a lawsuit today against disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein, claiming that he damaged her career by blocking her from getting major movie roles in retaliation for turning down his advances. Judd, who was among the first women to publicly speak out about Weinstein's behavior a year ago to The New York Times, notes that since the Weinstein story broke, "Lord of the Rings" director Peter Jackson said Weinstein discouraged him from casting Judd.

Appearing alongside Lupita Nyong'o, Cynthia Erivo, and Amber Tamblyn at the Tribeca Film Festival's day-long Time's Up event on Saturday, the Oscar-winning actress discussed her struggle with liberating herself from the trauma of sexual assault six months after claiming in a New Yorker exposé that Harvey Weinstein harassed her in 1995. She had said she went to see Weinstein for a business meeting and he got sexually aggressive before she fled his hotel room.

The lawsuit maintains that Weinstein was retaliating against Judd for refusing to engage in sexual activity with him.

The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, involves Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" films, the first of which was released in 2001.

"I recall Miramax [Weinstein's production company at the time] telling us they were a nightmare to work with and we should avoid them at all costs", Jackson said.

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"Mr. Weinstein's abusive conduct toward others has caused no end of damage to aspiring actors and others in the film and entertainment industry", Judd said in a separate statement.

Weinstein, whose downfall kickstarted the #MeToo movement, has denied all allegations of sexual assault.

Jackson says Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino both lost the opportunity work on The Lord of the Rings after Weinstien said they were hard to work with.

Judd said she would donate any money gained from the lawsuit to the Time's Up Legal Defense Fun.

"The most basic investigation of the facts will reveal that Mr. Weinstein neither defamed Ms. Judd nor ever interfered with Ms. Judd's career, and instead not only championed her work but also repeatedly approved her casting for two of his movies over the next decade", THR reports.

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