Judd cites Peter Jackson claiming she wasn't hired for "Lord of the Rings" because Weinstein called her a "nightmare" to work with.
Ashley Judd dropped by "Good Morning America" to discuss the lawsuit she filed Tuesday against disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein for allegedly derailing her career after she rejected his sexual advances.
"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," she said.
When asked why she was filing this lawsuit now and what she was hoping to accomplish with it, Judd responded, "What I want is for Mr. Weinstein to be held accountable for is illegal conduct. I was on such a roll. My career opportunities after having been defamed by Harvey Weinstein were significantly diminished."
Judd was one of the first women to speak out against Weinstein, and is one of the founders of Time's Up, the organization that grew out of the #MeToo movement seeking equality and safe work environments for everyone. Now, she's taking another stand against Weinstein for essentially blacklisting her in the late 1990s.
She cites as evidence Peter Jackson's December 2017 comments to New Zealand's Stuff, where he told the publication Weinstein dissuaded him from considering Judd or Mira Sorvino for his then-upcoming "Lord of the Rings" trilogy of films.
"I was being invited to consider which of the two roles I preferred," she said.
.@ABC EXCLUSIVE: "My career was damaged because I rebuffed Mr. Weinstein's sexual advances. I know it for a fact." @AshleyJudd one-on-one with @arobach as she sues Harvey Weinstein: https://t.co/eR4lNo6hTB pic.twitter.com/AYIOdfTrcb— Good Morning America (@GMA) May 1, 2018
According to the lawsuit, "Weinstein torpedoed Ms. Judd’s incredible professional opportunity when he told (them) that the studio had had a 'bad experience' with Ms. Judd, and that Ms. Judd was a 'nightmare' to work with and should be avoided 'at all costs.'"
"It was just poof. We never heard anything back," Judd said of Jackson's team. "I was being maligned and defamed because I stood up for myself and I said, 'No, you may not give me a massage. No, I will not watch you take a shower.'"
While Judd has enjoyed steady work since the timeframe discussed in the late 1990s, it is true that her career seemed to peak around the turn of the century when she was one of Hollywood's "it" actresses. Weinstein, however, denies this latest claim, as he has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and asserts that all of his sexual encounters have been consensual.
A representative for Weinstein argued in a statement to USA Today, "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."
According to Judd's lawyer, Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., her lawsuit "is to hold Mr. Weinstein accountable for his retaliation against Ms. Judd, defamation of her business reputation, and interference with her career, and to shine a light on the broader economic damages caused when individuals in positions of authority attempt to punish those who have resisted their improper advances."
Judd has said that she will donate any funds received from her legal action to the Time's Up legal defense fund to help others facing similar challenges in their professional lives.