Ashley Judd Sues Harvey Weinstein for Harming Her Career
Actress Ashley Judd is suing Harvey Weinstein, claiming the disgraced producer harmed her career when he spread lies about her after she rejected his sexual advances.
Judd's lawsuit charges Weinstein with defamation, sexual harassment, intentional interference with prospective economic advantage and unfair competition.
On "Good Morning America," the actress said, "I lost opportunity, I lost money, I lost status and prestige and power in my career as a direct result of having been sexually harassed and rebuffing the sexual harassment."
The suit says Judd did not realize "something unseen was holding her back from obtaining the work she wanted, and had been doing so for decades."
Then, in December, "Lord of the Rings" director Peter Jackson came forward to admit that he was warned by Weinstein not to cast Judd or Mira Sorvino in the movies.
"I recall Miramax telling us [Judd and Sorvino] were a nightmare to work with and we should avoid them at all costs," he said.
"At the time, we had no reason to question what these guys were telling us, but in hindsight, I realize that this was very likely the Miramax smear campaign in full swing," Jackson continued. "I now suspect we were fed false information about both of these talented women, and as a direct result their names were removed from our casting list."
Judd's suit alleges that Weinstein bad-mouthed her as payback for refusing his sexual advances, which she detailed to the New York Times last fall.
The actress said any compensation she wins will be donated to the Times Up Legal Defense Fund.
Weinstein spokesman Juda Engelmayer refuted the suit's claims in a statement: "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, Frida in 2002 and 'Crossing Over' with Harrison Ford in 2009. We look forward to a vigorous defense of these claims."