Ashley Judd Is Suing Harvey Weinstein For Harming Her Career And Sexual Harassment
Judd has accused the disgraced movie mogul of sexual harassment, defamation, and violation of California's fair business laws, which prohibits "unlawful, unfair, and fraudulent business acts and practices." In the suit, the actress alleged that Weinstein destroyed her reputation as an actress and ruined her chances of landing a role in Peter Jackson's blockbuster Lord of the Rings films.
Weinstein allegedly made "false and malicious statements" about her professionalism. Jackson corroborated Judd's allegations in December when he revealed that Weinstein and his brother Bob told them to avoid "at all costs" casting Judd and Mira Sorvino because they were a "nightmare" to work with. The director said that at the time, they had no reason to question their inputs, but later on realized that they may have been fed with false information about their talent and were misled by the Miramax smear campaign.
"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. He also effectively blocked Ms. Judd from future opportunities to work," reads the statement in the lawsuit.
"Weinstein's wrongful and outrageous conduct" not only deprived Judd of landing a role in Lord of the Rings but also had a long-lasting ripple effect on her whole acting career. The actress alleged that his
"abusive conduct toward others has caused no end of damage" to aspiring actors and those in the film and entertainment industry. Judd wants the businessman held accountable for the damages he has done to careers.
In the suit, Judd alleges that Weinstein's conduct was in retaliation because she refused to engage in sexual activity with him. He asked the actress to meet him in a hotel room in Beverly Hills to talk about other casting opportunities after he had cast her in Smoke. Weinstein asked her to watch him take a shower and submit to a massage, which she refused. At the time, Judd was already in contention for a role in Lord of the Rings.
However, a representative for Weinstein denied the actress's allegations and claimed that he did not destroy Judd's reputation. If not, he championed her work and even helped her get cast in two of his movies, Frida (2002) and Crossing Over (2009).
Regardless, Judd has pledged to donate proceeds from the lawsuit to the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund.