Ashley Judd sues Harvey Weinstein for 'blacklisting' her after she refused his sexual advances
Judd learned in December that Weinstein had used his power to prevent her from getting a role in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy in 1998
Actress Ashley Judd is the most recent member of the Hollywood community who is suing Harvey Weinstein for defamation and sexual harassment. She has claimed, amongst other things, that he spoke badly about her to director Peter Jackson and this is what cost her a role in the legendary Lord of the Rings trilogy.
The lawsuit that was filed on April 30 in the Los Angeles Superior Court states that the actress had sensed something "unseen" has held her career back for some time but had not realised until December that it was the disgraced producer.
Judd said that she had been in talks with Jackson and his team in 1998 when she was slated to play one of two major roles in the trilogy of films based on JRR Tolkien's books but Weinstein had "torpedoed" the chance to work in the films by telling Jackson that Judd "was a 'nightmare' to work with and should be avoided 'at all costs'."
Theodore Boutrous Jr, an attorney, wrote about Weinstein: "The pathetic reality, however, was that Weinstein was retaliating against Ms. Judd for rejecting his sexual demands approximately one year earlier, when he cornered her in a hotel room under the guise of discussing business."
"A self-described 'benevolent dictator' who has bragged that 'I can be scary,' Weinstein used his power in the entertainment industry to damage Ms Judd’s reputation and limit her ability to find work."
Judd claimed that she did not know why she wasn't given the role in the film until she read an interview that Jackson had done in December where he said that he did not have a reason to believe, at that time, that he was told any lies but that he suspects now he was given false information about her.
The lawsuit also talks of other allegations that were made by the actresses who filed lawsuits before her, namely Salma Hayek and Uma Thurman, who said that Weinstein had threatened to ruin their careers after they both had rejected his sexual advances. The lawsuit also says that Mira Sorvino was also auditioning for the same role as Judd but she was rejected as well for the same reasons.
Judd has sued Weinstein now for defamation, sexual harassment, intentional interference and prospective economic advantage, and unfair competition.
A spokesperson for Weinstein responded to the lawsuit Judd filed on Monday saying: "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."
"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, Fridain 2002 and Crossing Over with Harrison Ford in 2009. We look forward to a vigorous defense of these claims."