"She changed her story when giving it to the Times," the film executive says.
Harvey Weinstein already did his first interview since the New York Times dropped their expose alleging the Hollywood mogul of "decades of sexual harassment," calling out the publication and Ashley Judd for the report.
The Weinstein Company founder first explained why he plans to sue the Times while speaking with Page Six. "The reason I am suing is because of the Times' inability to be honest with me, and their reckless reporting. They told me lies. They made assumptions," he said. "The Times had a deal with us that they would tell us about the people they had on the record in the story, so we could respond appropriately, but they didn't live up to the bargain."
"They spent six months researching this article then they gave us just 24 hours to answer it," he continued. "They did tell us that Ashley Judd was on record, but we thought it would be along the lines of what she told Variety." In 2015, she told Variety about her inappropriate interactions with one of the industry's "most famous, admired-slash-reviled bosses" but didn't name him.
"But she changed her story when giving it to the Times. I know Ashley Judd is going through a tough time right now, I read her book, in which she talks about being the victim of sexual abuse and depression as a child. Her life story was brutal, and I have to respect her," Weinstein added. "In a year from now I am going to reach out to her."
"I never laid a glove on her. After this supposed incident, which she says was in 1997 while filming 'Kiss The Girls,' I took her to an Academy Award party where we were photographed smiling. She claimed to the Times she never worked with me again. She did two movies with me — 'Frida', which came out in 2002, and 'Crossing Over' with Harrison Ford, released in 2009."
Judd accused him of inviting her to the Peninsula Hotel in Los Angeles for a business meeting in the '90s, before asking her to join him in his room instead. Once there, he allegedly asked if he could give her a massage or if she would watch him shower. "I said no, a lot of ways, a lot of times, and he always came back at me with some new ask," Judd told NYT, "It was all this bargaining, this coercive bargaining." Judd also said she felt "panicky" and "trapped" during the situation.
Though she previously told Variety that she had "never been offered a movie by that studio," she told the Times she appeared in two more Weinstein films without incident.
Weinstein also told Page Six that he couldn't "talk specifics," but admitted "I put myself in positions that were stupid, I want to respect women and do things better."
"I have got to change, I've got to grow, I've got to deal with my personality, I've got to work on my temper, I have got to dig deep. I know a lot of people would like me to go into a facility, and I may well just do that – I will go anywhere I can learn more about myself," he added. "I want to be able to look at the people I have hurt and say, 'I am sorry, I have changed and I’ve progressed.'"
For its part, the Times says they're "confident in the accuracy" of their reporting.