Culture&Arts

Ashley Judd Sues Harvey Weinstein For Defamation, Sexual Harassment

Ashley Judd Sues Harvey Weinstein For Defamation, Sexual Harassment

Ashley Judd has filed a lawsuit that claims former movie mogul Harvey Weinstein tried to destroy her career because she would not give in to his sexual advances, according to a new report.

The civil lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court in Santa Monica, accuses Weinstein of causing Judd to lose a part in 1998 in the film "The Lord of the Rings" by making "baseless smears" against her.

In a statement, Judd's attorney, Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., said his client was alleging defamation, sexual harassment, interference with prospective economic advantage, and violations of California's Unfair Competition Law.

Judd is one of numerous women who have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct, including actress Mira Sorvino, who was also targeted by Weinstein and was passed up for a role in Jackson's film. Judd was not Weinstein's employee in a conventional sense at the time of their encounter, but her complaint contends that she had a continuing business relationship with him.

To wrap up her speech, Ashley left the audience with a meaningful message telling them 'our rage become our strength, our energy and our motivation'.

A spokesman for Mr. Weinstein had no immediate comment.

Weinstein's reps issued a statement which read, "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".

He has denied having non-consensual sex with anyone.

Director Peter Jackson told New Zealand outlet Stuff in December that he was forced by Weinstein to blacklist Judd for a role in The Lord of the Rings.

"I lost career opportunity. We look forward to a vigorous defense of these claims".

Last year, Jackson publicly admitted that Weinstein stopped him from hiring female actors, including Judd. "No person - in whatever job, in whatever industry - should have to forfeit professional aspirations and the right to earn a living to the abusive whims of the powerful". "It's time that Mr. Weinstein be held accountable for that conduct and for the ways in which he's damaged careers".