Actress Ashley Judd alleges that Harvey Weinstein tried to smear her reputation in Hollywood.
Ashley Judd was the first person to come forward and accuse Harvey Weinstein of alleged sexual harassment, and has remained a prominent voice in the #MeToo movement ever since. Indeed, she went on to file a lawsuit against the disgraced film producer in April 2018, accusing him of having “torpedoed her incredible professional opportunity” after she refused his sexual advances in 1998.
Judd went on to state that Weinstein prevented her from securing a role in Peter Jackson’s franchise The Lord of the Rings by smearing her reputation.
Now, though, a federal judge has dismissed Judd’s case, Reuters reports.
In December 2017, Jackson revealed in an interview that Weinstein had warned him against working with Judd and fellow actress Mira Sorvino as they “were a nightmare to work with and we should avoid them at all costs.”
“At the time, we had no reason to question what these guys were telling us — but in hindsight, I realise that this was very likely the Miramax smear campaign in full swing,” Jackson said. “I now suspect we were fed false information about both of these talented women — and as a direct result their names were removed from our casting list.”
According to Reuters, US district judge Philip Gutierrez added to his ruling on Wednesday 9 January that he was not determining whether Judd was sexually harassed by Weinstein or not “in the colloquial sense of the term”. He added that Judd’s relationship as an actress with the writer-producer was not included in the California statute she had sued under.
“We have said from the beginning that this claim was unjustified, and we are pleased that the court saw it as we did,” said Weinstein’s lawyer, Phyllis Kupferstein. “We believe that we will ultimately prevail on her remaining claims.”
Judd’s attorney, Theodore J Boutrous Jr, said in a statement that Judd can still proceed with a defamation claim against Weinstein.
“Nothing about today’s ruling changes that Ms Judd’s case is moving forward on multiple claims,” he said.
“We look forward to pursuing the three claims for relief that the court has already ruled can move forward.”
In 2018, Judd penned a beautiful letter to all sexual assault survivors which you can read here.
Weinstein has been accused of sexual misconduct by 70 women. He denies all allegations of non-consensual sex made against him.