Ashley Judd has sued Harvey Weinstein, saying he hurt her acting career in retaliation for her rejecting his sexual advances. In the lawsuit filed Monday, April 30, 2018, in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Judd accuses Weinstein of defamation, sexual harassment and violation of Californiaâs unfair competition law. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
US actor Ashley Judd has filed a defamation and sexual harassment lawsuit against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, alleging he damaged her career after she refused his sexual advances.
The civil lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court in Santa Monica, alleges Weinstein caused Judd to lose a part in 1998 in the film The Lord of the Rings by making "baseless smears" against her.
The lawsuit, reviewed by Reuters, alleges 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".
"Weinstein used his power in the entertainment industry to damage Ms Judd's reputation and limit her ability to find work," the lawsuit says.
My legal complaint. I am suing for economic remedy due to damage done to my career as a result of sexual harassment. Financial recuperation goes to @TIMESUPNOW @TIMESUPLDF so that American workers who experince sexual harassment & retaliation have help. https://t.co/Nod3fXgVk3— ashley judd (@AshleyJudd) April 30, 2018
Weinstein has denied non-consensual sex with anyone. A representative issued a statement hours later saying Weinstein had "neither defamed Ms Judd nor ever interfered with Ms Judd's career".
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.
It also said he had "fought for Ms Judd as his first choice for a lead role in Good Will Hunting".
Judd was one of the first women in October 2017 to make an on the record allegation of sexual misconduct against Weinstein, which soon afterward evolved into the social media #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and assault.
The Oscar-winning producer has since been accused of sexual impropriety by more than 70 women.
Judd, a leading member of the "Time's Up" movement against sexual harassment in the workplace, is seeking unspecified damages and a jury trial.
The actress said in a statement to the New York Times that any financial recuperation from the lawsuit would be donated to Time's Up.
© RAW 2018