Ashley Judd slams 'offensive' Harvey Weinstein court move
The 50-year-old actress claimed she lost out on a part in 'The Lord of the Rings' after she rejected the movie mogul's sexual advances.
LONDON - Ashley Judd's lawyers have branded Harvey Weinstein's bid to have her defamation lawsuit against him thrown out offensive.
The 50-year-old actress claimed she lost out on a part in The Lord of the Rings after she rejected the shamed movie mogul's sexual advances in a defamation lawsuit filed in April, and on Tuesday a court heard how Weinstein argued the Divergent star had "filed this action 20 years too late" as the alleged incident happened in 1998.
As well as not meeting the statute of limitations, his court documents also insisted the single incident was not "pervasive or severe" enough to amount to sexual harassment.
And Judd's team have now responded to the "flawed motion", insisting they are confident they can oppose the bid to have the case dismissed.
They said in a statement: "Mr Weinstein's arguments seeking to escape the consequences of his despicable misconduct are not only baseless, they are offensive. We look forward to opposing his flawed motion, moving forward with discovery into his outrageous behaviour, and proving to a jury that Mr Weinstein maliciously damaged Ms Judd's career because she resisted his sexual advances."
In his own court documents, Weinstein - who has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women - insisted Judd's accusations against him weren't enough to qualify as harassment.
Paperwork stated: "Weinstein's alleged unwanted sexual advances occurred on a single day and consisted of him asking to give Plaintiff a massage, asking her to help him pick out clothes, and asking her to watch him shower. These allegations fall far short of meeting the 'pervasive or severe' required element."
The Double Jeopardy star had alleged that she was blacklisted by Weinstein after the incident and that it affected her career, but he replied by saying "contention that she would have been a bigger star had she been cast in the films is wholly speculative".
In the original filing, Judd accused Weinstein of retaliating after she turned down the producer.
The court documents read: "The pathetic reality, however, was that 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. A self-described 'benevolent dictator' who has bragged that 'I can be scary,' Weinstein used his power in the entertainment industry to damage Ms Judd's reputation and limit her ability to find work."
Judd is claiming for damages, an order to prevent Weinstein from "engaging in further retaliatory conduct towards" her, an injunction against Weinstein to "cease engaging in unfair competition" and legal costs.