We thought that the Harvey Weinstein scandals were finally starting to die down; then news about Ashley Judd suing the offender started becoming the news again. This time the actress is suing the former producer for defamation and sexual harassment. According to Judd, Weinstein dampened her career because she refused to engage his sexual advances so long ago.
Judd has been a very vocal advocate of the #MeToo movement; she was one of the very first women that came forward with allegations against Weinstein. This time around, the most impertinent fact about the claims is regarding Judd’s missed opportunity in the Lord of the Rings franchise. According to director Peter Jackson, Weinstein approached him regarding Judd, stating that she was a “nightmare” to work with. Apparently, Weinstein also told Jackson to avoid hiring Judd “at all costs.”
Jackson was truly considering Judd for a major role in the first movie up and had even met up with the actress already. Judd thought that she was getting the part, yet no news came for her about getting the role.
A year before all of these unfolded, there was supposedly an incident when Weinstein invited Judd to a business breakfast meeting, where he appeared in a bathrobe and asked Judd to let him massage her and watch him shower. These were the same stories we heard back in October when the allegations against Weinstein first started to come out. Judd participated in some banter before she left, but that was the beginning of it all.
Judd said she wasn’t sure why she didn’t get the role in Lord of the Rings, and Weinstein is denying that he had anything to do with Peter Jackson’s casting. He claimed that he’s actually a champion for Judd’s career and will not do anything to derail it. At the time, Weinstein’s company, Miramax, held the rights to the Lord of the Rings movie.
Furthermore, there are other laws being invoked in Weinstein’s sexual harassment case. Judd has also called for unfair competition laws against Weinstein’s business and its practices. There’s a broader issues that deals with the economic damages caused by high profile individuals–those with enough power to cause damage–who cause issues when others resist their improper advances.
Director Jackson spoke out even more against Weinstein, stating that the producer also warned him not to work with Mira Sorvino as well. Sorvino is allegedly one of Weinstein’s many victims. Jackson was very apologetic upon realization of his role in the loss and damages caused in the careers of many actresses, but he was easily absolved of his guilt and any other wrongdoings.
The lawsuit wants damages to be determined at trial, which has no set timeframe as of yet. A spokesperson for Judd says that any money she might end up winning at the end will all be donated to charity and to the movement supporting women’s fight against harassment and discrimination. Weinstein is still currently being investigated in New York and Los Angeles.