The sexual harassment claim made against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein by actress Ashley Judd has been dismissed by a judge.

Ms Judd had accused the disgraced movie mogul of damaging her career in 1998 after she refused what she claimed were his sexual advances a year earlier.

At a hearing in Los Angeles yesterday, the 50-year-old was told she could only proceed with a defamation claim against him.

In her lawsuit, filed in April 2018, she accused Weinstein of smearing her reputation by discouraging director Peter Jackson from casting her in his blockbuster movie franchise The Lord of the Rings.

Ms Judd, one of the first women in October 2017 to publicly accuse Weinstein of sexual misconduct, had accused him of sexual harassment in violation of a California law barring such conduct by a person in a “business, service or professional relationship” with another.

US District Judge Philip Gutierrez said the law covering sexual harassment within a professional relationship did not apply to sexual advances Weinstein, 66, allegedly made toward Ms Judd during a meeting about potential film roles.

But he added she 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 New York.

Weinstein’s lawyer, Phyllis Kupferstein, said in a statement: “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.”

Following the hearing, Theodore Boutrous Jr, representing Ms Judd added: “Nothing about today’s ruling changes that Ms Judd’s case is moving forward on multiple claims.”

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

The producer has been accused of sexual misconduct by more than 70 women. He has consistently denied the accusations, saying any sexual encounters were consensual.

Judd’s lawsuit had alleged Weinstein “cornered her in a hotel room in 1997 under the guise of discussing business”. 

Weinstein denied defaming Ms Judd or interfering with her career.

Leave comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *.

%d bloggers like this: