Ashley Judd helped establish the Time’s Up movement so that women who have been harassed would be able to seek some measure of justice. Now she’s seeking some justice of her own.
Judd was the first celebrity victim of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual predation to be named on the record, in the New York Times investigation that eventually won a Pulitzer. She alleged that after spurning the mega-producer’s explicit advances, Weinstein did irreparable damage to her career by creating a false, negative reputation for her as punishment. On Monday, Judd retaliated by suing Weinstein for defamation, sexual harassment, and a violation of California’s fair business laws. Specifically, she claims that Weinstein ruined her chances of appearing in The Lord of the Rings trilogy by urging director Peter Jackson against casting her.
“Weinstein torpedoed Ms. Judd’s incredible professional opportunity when he told Mr. Jackson . . . 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,'” attorneys for Judd said, according to The Wrap. “With those baseless smears, Weinstein succeeded in blacklisting Ms. Judd and destroying her ability to work on what became a multibillion-dollar franchise with 17 Academy Award wins and many more nominations. He also effectively blocked Ms. Judd from future opportunities to work.”
If the guilty verdict in last week’s Bill Cosby retrial is any indication, actual consequences for the crimes of powerful men appear to be in vogue now.