Ashley Judd Suing Harvey Weinstein for Defamation, Sexual Harassment
Actress Ashley Judd filed a lawsuit Monday against disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, saying he tried to ruin her career when she refused his sexual advances.
Judd was one of the first actresses to shed light on Weinstein's purported sexual misconduct, alongside Rose McGowan and others, when she shared her story with The New York Times in October.
In the lawsuit, Judd said Weinstein dissuaded filmmaker Peter Jackson from casting her in his Lord of the Rings trilogy. Jackson previously said in an interview with Stuff he was "fed false information" about Judd from Weinstein after meeting her to discuss a role.
Judd is suing Weinstein for defamation, sexual harassment and violations of California's unfair business competition law.
"Mr. Weinstein's abusive conduct toward others has caused no end of damage to aspiring actors and others in the film and entertainment industry," Judd said in a statement. "As my experience and the experience of others shows, even a few false statements from Mr. Weinstein could destroy potentially career-changing professional opportunities. It's time that Mr. Weinstein be held accountable for that conduct and for the ways in which he's damaged careers."
The film star has said she will donate any financial award from the suit to a charity that benefits women.
"The most basic investigation of the facts will reveal that Mr. Weinstein neither defamed Ms. Judd nor ever interfered with Ms. Judd's career, and instead not only championed her work but also repeatedly approved her casting for two of his movies over the next decade," Weinstein responded through his spokesman. "The actual facts will show that Mr. Weinstein was widely known for having fought for Ms. Judd as his first choice for the lead role in Good Will Hunting and, in fact, arranged for Ms. Judd to fly to New York to be considered for the role. Thereafter, Ms. Judd was hired for not one, but two of Mr. Weinstein's movies, Frida in 2002 and Crossing Over with Harrison Ford in 2009."
Monday, a number of Hollywood stars including Meryl Streep, George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Jake Gyllenhaal, Bill Murray, Julia Roberts, Rachel McAdams and author Stephen King filed objections to the bankruptcy sale of the Weinstein Co., stating they are owed profits for participation across various projects.
The stars object to the transferring of rights to those projects without being paid the default amounts. Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino also filed an objection saying he's owed over $4.5 million from four films.
Citizen Harvey, a documentary about the producer, will be presented at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, which starts next week and runs until May 19. The film, from Man on Wire producer Lightbox and the BBC, will explore Weinstein's sexual harassment scandal.
By Wade Sheridan, UPI.com
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