Published: Wed, May 02, 2018
Life&Culture | By Peggy Hughes

Ashley Judd Sues Weinstein for 'Torpedoing' Her Career

Ashley Judd Sues Weinstein for 'Torpedoing' Her Career

U.S. actress Ashley Judd is suing producer Harvey Weinstein, claiming he damaged her career after she rejected his sexual advances.

Judd claims that in 1997 at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills, Weinstein - in what was supposed to be a breakfast meeting - "appeared in a bathrobe [and] asked Judd to watch him shower and to let him massage her", The Associated Press says of the lawsuit. Jackson said that the company warned him against casting either Judd or Mira Sorvino, who has also spoken about being harassed and propositioned by Weinstein.

A representative for Weinstein also denied the allegations that he smeared Judd's name. She alleged that after spurning the mega-producer's explicit advances, Weinstein did irreparable damage to her career by creating a false, negative reputation for her as punishment. 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 NY to be considered for the role. In addition, he "fought for Ms. Judd as his first choice for a lead role in Good Will Hunting".

Judd, who said she felt "panicky, trapped", shared that to leave the room, she joked that if Weinstein wanted to touch her, she would have to win an Oscar in one of his films first. At the time, we had no reason to question what these guys were telling us - but in hindsight, I realise this was very likely the Miramax smear campagin in full swing.

"The suit is among many pending against Weinstein, 66, who is also under criminal investigation in Los Angeles and NY".

The actress claims that Weinstein's actions "torpedoed" her opportunity to star in the films and cost her other work as well. "They asked which if the two roles I preferred, and then I abruptly never heard from [them] again", she wrote in December.

Court documents obtained by CNN show that Judd is accusing Weinstein of making inflammatory statements about her that hurt her career, including deterring director Peter Jackson and his producing partner Fran Walsh from working with Judd on The Lord of the Rings trilogy. "Ms Judd brings this complaint to vindicate that principle, and to right the wrongs that Weinstein committed against her, among so many others".

The lawsuit goes beyond many sexual harassment suits by invoking unfair competition laws against fraudulent business practices in an attempt to "shine a light on the broader economic damages caused when individuals in positions of authority attempt to punish those who have resisted their improper advances", Judd's attorney Theodore J. Boutrous Jr. said in a statement.

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 NY to be considered for the role.

Instead, the statement said, Weinstein "championed" Judd's work and "repeatedly approved her casting for two of his movies" - "Frida" in 2002 starring Salma Hayek, and "Crossing Over" with Harrison Ford in 2009.

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