Ashley Judd Sues Harvey Weinstein for Sexual Harassment, Defamation and 'Retaliatory Conduct'
By Zach Seemayer
Ashley Judd had filed a lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein, claiming that the former film mogul intentionally damaged her career in retaliation for rejecting his sexual advances.
In the lawsuit obtained by ET on Tuesday, which was filed with the Los Angeles County Superior Court on Monday, Judd claims that Weinstein disparaged her to director Peter Jackson, which led to her not being cast in the Oscar-winning Lord of the Rings trilogy.
According to the Berlin Station actress, she was in talks to star as a major character in the film until, unbeknownst to her at the time, Weinstein allegedly shot down the idea, telling Jackson that she was a "nightmare" on set.
Judd said it wasn't until Jackson spoke out in December about his interaction with Weinstein -- and his former production company Miramax-- that she learned the reason the deal apart.
"I lost career 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," Judd said. "My career opportunities, after having been defamed by Harvey Weinstein, were significantly diminished. ... My career was damaged because I rebuffed Mr. Weinstein's sexual advances."
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Judd's suit also includes detailed allegations from other actresses, including Uma Thurman and Salma Hayek, who claim Weinstein threatened to damage their acting careers as well.
The actress is suing for defamation, sexual harassment, intentional interference with prospective economic advantage and unfair competition.
A representative for Weinstein roundly denied Judd's claims in a statement released to ET on Tuesday.
"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," the statement read. "We look forward to a vigorous defense of these claims."
In the wake of Judd's lawsuit, several big-name stars have taken to Twitter to voice their support for the actress, including Reese Witherspoon, Amber Tamblyn, Debra Messing and many others.