June 20, 2019

Judge Dismisses Part of Ashley Judd’s Lawsuit Against Harvey Weinstein

Mr. Weinstein has denied engaging in nonconsensual sexual activity.

“We have said from the beginning that this claim was unjustified, and we are pleased that the court saw it as we did,” Phyllis Kupferstein, a lawyer for Mr. Weinstein, said in a statement. “We believe that we will ultimately prevail on her remaining claims.”

In September, Judge Gutierrez ruled that Ms. Judd could not claim sexual harassment because she did not have a specific business relationship with Mr. Weinstein at the time — a requirement of the statute. But the court allowed Ms. Judd to amend the sexual harassment part of her complaint and resubmit it. Her lawyers did so, citing end-of-year revisions to California sexual harassment laws and arguing that the changes should be applied retroactively.

It is rare for people to recover damages for smear campaigns — for instance, quietly labeling actresses as “difficult” when they do not acquiesce to powerful men — because of how complicated it can be to prove the action took place, much less harmed a career. But Ms. Judd has an A-list director on her side: Peter Jackson, who came forward early last year to say he removed Ms. Judd from a “Lord of the Rings” casting list “as a direct result” of what he now thought was “false information” provided by Mr. Weinstein.

In her original suit for defamation, Ms. Judd said that, until Mr. Jackson came forward, she did not know that “something unseen was holding her back from obtaining the work she wanted, and had been doing so for decades.”

Separately, Mr. Weinstein faces a criminal trial in New York City this year. He faces charges that he raped one woman and forced another to allow him to perform oral sex on her.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/09/business/media/ashley-judd-lawsuit-harvey-weinstein.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

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