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Harvey Weinstein is trying to dismiss Ashley Judd's lawsuit against him

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Megan Murray
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Harvey Weinstein’s legal team has attempted to dismiss Ashley Judd’s lawsuit against him by claiming that she took too long to sue him, in a manipulative statement that attempts to drive the blame back to Judd. 

In April this year, Judd opened a case against Weinstein claiming that because she rejected his previous sexual advancements, he had purposely attempted to damage her career and was responsible for her losing out on a major role in the film, Lord of the Rings

The actor alleged that just over 20 years ago, she suffered an experience with Weinstein in a hotel room where he sexually harassed her. Just over a year later in 1998, Judd had been in serious talks with Lord of the Rings creator Peter Jackson about appearing in the film, but was unexpectedly cast aside. 

Judd claims that she had no understanding of why she was taken off the project, until Jackson admitted in a December 2017 interview that he has “blacklisted” Judd, and other actors, under the instruction of Weinstein, who had said she was “a nightmare” to work with.

Harvey Weinstein and Peter Jackson together in 2004 at the BAFTA Awards

Now Weinstein’s attorney, Phyllis Kupferstein, has discredited Judd’s claims by alluding that she should have asked Jackson why she missed out on the part, saying “her failure to file a timely complaint is due to her own lack of reasonable diligence” and not the fault of his client. 

The Hollywood Reporter details Kupferstein’s statement, which reads: “Plaintiff certainly knew of the alleged sexual harassment and her injuries, if any, at the time of the hotel encounter. [states motion to dismiss]

 “She further knew she was not cast in Lord of the Rings by the time filming began, but claims she did not know until late 2017 that Weinstein was purportedly behind the casting decision. However, Plaintiff admits she made no inquiries about why she was not cast in the film because she did not want to upset Jackson. Accordingly, her failure to file a timely complaint is due to her own lack of reasonable diligence and not any affirmative misconduct on Weinstein’s part.”

The notion that Judd should shoulder the blame or responsibility for redeeming the lies being spread about her is beyond the realms misogyny . 

Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino were both targeted by Weinstein 

Weinstein’s team has also tried to discredit her allegations of sexual harassment, putting a focus on it being a “one-time event.”

Kupferstein’s legal brief reads: “[Judd] fails to plead that she and Weinstein had the kind of professional relationship grounded in trust covered by the Act, or that the purported harassment she experienced from Weinstein was severe or pervasive — especially since Plaintiff alleged it was a one-time event and she and Weinstein struck, in Plaintiff’s words, ‘a bargain’ with respect to future sexual activity.”

Theodore Boutrous, who is representing Judd, has responded in a statement which reads: “Mr. Weinstein’s arguments seeking to escape the consequences of his despicable misconduct are not only baseless, they are offensive. We look forward to opposing his flawed motion, moving forward with discovery into his outrageous behavior, and proving to a jury that Mr. Weinstein maliciously damaged Ms. Judd’s career because she resisted his sexual advances.”

Images: Getty

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Megan Murray

Megan Murray is a digital journalist for stylist.co.uk, who enjoys writing about London happenings, beautiful places, delicious morsels and generally spreading sparkle wherever she can.

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