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Ashley Judd’s lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein, explained

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Susan Devaney
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Actress Ashley Judd is suing Hollywood producer-director Harvey Weinstein for damaging her career. 

Ashley Judd has been a prominent voice in the #MeToo movement having been the first person to come forward and accuse the disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault.

Now, Judd is taking further action after filing a complaint in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday (30 April) claiming that the producer “torpedoed Judd’s incredible professional opportunity” after she refused his sexual advances.

“With those baseless smears, Weinstein succeeded in blacklisting Ms. Judd and destroying her ability to work on what became a multi-billion-dollar franchise with 17 Academy Award wins and many more nominations”, the complaint, reviewed by Reuters, says, referring to Lord of the Rings

A representative for Weinstein issued a statement saying that he “neither defamed Ms Judd nor ever interfered with Ms Judd’s career”. Instead, the former studio boss says he championed her work and approved her casting for roles in Friday in 2002 and Crossing Over in 2009.

Taking to Twitter, the actress addressed the lawsuit, confirming that any financial compensation from the it would be donated to Time’s Up “so that women and men in all professions may have legal redress for sexual harassment, economic retaliation and damage to their careers.”

In December last year, film director Peter 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.”

More than 90 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct

More than 90 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct. 

The lawsuit comes after a number of other high profile actresses and actors, including Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence, filed court papers objecting to the sale of the Weinstein Company assets, claiming the production company owes them unpaid debts.

Weinstein denies all allegations of non-consensual sex made against him.

At the end of last month, Judd penned a beautiful letter to all sexual assault survivors which you can read here.

Images: Getty / Rex Features