A Los Angeles judge has dismissed Ashley Judd’s sexual harassment claim against Harvey Weinstein but the remainder of the case, which includes defamation and retaliation claims against the producer, can still proceed.
Judd had accused Weinstein of defaming her in 1998 after she refused his sexual advances.
Last year April 2018, the actress filed a lawsuit against Weinstein accusing him of sexual harassment and smearing her reputation by discouraging director Peter Jackson from casting her in his blockbuster movie franchise ‘The Lord of the Rings’.
“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,” Judd’s attorney Theodore Boutrous Jr. wrote in the lawsuit.
Judge Philip Gutierrez, however, said he was not determining whether Judd was sexually harassed by Weinstein “in the colloquial sense of the term” adding Judd’s relationship as an actress with the film producer was not covered under the California statute she had sued under, nor under a 2019 amendment.
Reacting to the claim, Weinstein’s lawyer, Phyllis Kupferstein, said: “We have said from the beginning that this claim was unjustified, and we are pleased that the court saw it as we did.
“We believe that we will ultimately prevail on her remaining claims.”
But Judd’s attorney, Theodore Boutrous, said the ruling does not upend Judd’s complaint.
He said: “Nothing about today’s ruling changes that Ms. Judd’s case is moving forward on multiple claims.
“We look forward to pursuing the three claims for relief that the Court has already ruled can move forward.”
Judd’s lawsuit had alleged Weinstein “cornered her in a hotel room in 1997 under the guise of discussing business”.
When she refused his demands, he retaliated by making what she called “baseless smears” against her to “Lord of the Rings” director Jackson, and she lost a part in the movie.
Weinstein has denied defaming Judd or interfering with her career.