Ashley Judd, one of the first actresses to talk about her experience with the now-disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein, is now suing him for damaging her career. The actress claims that her career was derailed after he spread lies about her because she refused his sexual advances, reports The New York Times.
Judd is suing Weinstein for defamation and sexual harassment and for violating California’s Unfair Competition law, which prohibits “unlawful, unfair and fraudulent business acts and practices.”
The suit was filed on April 30 with filmmaker Peter Jackson on her side. It is believed that Jackson had wanted to cast Judd in a significant role in Lord Of The Rings, produced by Weinstein’s company. But, Weinstein “torpedoed Ms. Judd’s incredible professional opportunity”, according to the complaint, by falsely telling Jackson that Judd was a “nightmare” who should be avoided “at all costs”.
On October 5, The New York Times chronicled the sordid behaviour of the Hollywood producer with actresses, interns, writers, and other women who had worked under him. He often asked them for sexual favours to boost their careers.
The story about Harvey Weinstein stands testament to the fact that no ill deed goes unpunished. After years (about three decades, reports suggest) of harassing women employees and actresses, the erstwhile Hollywood mogul was finally called out, with more and more popular names coming out with their stories of abuse.
Written bye appeared in a bathrobe and asked if he could give her a massage or she could watch him shower, she recalled in an interview. “How do I get out of the room as fast as possible without alienating Harvey Weinstein?” she said.
Other actresses such as Rose McGowan, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Kate Beckinsale, Salma Hayek and Uma Thurman too spoke up against him. This led to the establishment of the #MeToo movement and the #TimesUp initiative.
The movements continue to thrive. The #TimesUp initiative is currently focussing on musician R Kelly, who faces multiple accusations of sexual misconduct over the past 24 years. According to Vox, women of colour from the initiative are demanding #MuteRKelly, calling for anyone currently profiting from Kelly and his music, including Spotify, Ticketmaster, and Kelly’s record label RCA, to cut all ties with him.
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