March 20, 2019

Judge dismisses Judd harassment claim against Weinstein

11 January 2019, 10:47 | Regina Holmes

Judge dismisses Ashley Judd's claim against Harvey Weinstein

Judge dismisses Ashley Judd's sex harassment claim against Harvey Weinstein

Judd's defamation claim against Weinstein stems from a comment Jackson made in an interview following the flood of accusations against Weinstein in which he said the producer's company, Miramax, discouraged him from hiring both Judd and actress Mira Sorvino as part of what he described as a "smear campaign".

As previously reported, Judd has claimed that after she rejected Weinstein's sexual advances he blackballed her and director Peter Jackson didn't hire her, thereby hurting her career.

Ashley Judd arrives for the 90th Annual Academy Awards on March 4, 2018, in Hollywood, California.

She sued Harvey under the legal theory "sexual harassment in professional relationship".

Gutierrez of United States District Court in Los Angeles ruled Wednesday that the actress' sexual harassment claim does not fall within the scope of a California statute. But he said she did not make the case for sexual harassment under the civil code that was in effect when her suit was filed, noting, "The Court makes clear that it is not determining whether Plaintiff was sexually harassed in the colloquial sense of the term".

A judge recently axed a portion of her suit against the disgraced producer, however, she'll still be able to pursue the claim that Harvey irreparably damaged her career using his influence in the industry. She alleged Weinstein was responsible for her getting rejected for roles in such films as Lord of the Rings.

However, he did rule that Judd, 50, can proceed with her defamation claim against the producer, who has been accused of sexual abuse by hundreds of women and is facing criminal charges in NY.

"The burden on Weinstein has the potential of being dramatically and unfairly negative if the stay is denied".

Weinstein's lawyer, Phyllis Kupferstein, said: "We believe that we will ultimately prevail on her remaining claims".

Judd's attorneys argued that the legislative amendment should apply retroactively, allowing Judd's sexual harassment claim to proceed.

Judd's defense said they respectfully disagreed with the ruling.

"Nothing about today's ruling changes that Ms. Judd's case is moving forward on multiple claims", Judd's attorney Ted Boutrous said in a statement.

His five charges are two counts of predatory sexual assault, one count of criminal sexual act in the first degree and one count each of first-degree rape and third-degree rape.

Mr Weinstein is to stand trial in May in NY on five charges, including rape, involving two other women.

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