Ashley Judd Says Weinstein Kept Her Out of 'Lord of the Rings'

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It is rare for people to recover damages for smear campaigns - for instance, quietly labeling actresses as "difficult" when they don't acquiesce to powerful men - because of how complicated it can be to prove the action took place, let alone directly harmed someone's career.

In December, "Lord of the Rings" director Peter Jackson spoke to the New Zealand publication Stuff and said that Weinstein made him blacklist certain female stars, including Judd.

Actress Minnie Driver was eventually cast in the role. Thereafter, Ms. Judd was hired for not one, but two of Mr. Weinstein's movies, Frida in 2002 and Crossing Over with Harrison Ford in 2009.

If successful, the lawsuit could clarify sexual harassment protections for those in nontraditional business relationships. "It's time that Mr.n Weinstein be held accountable for that conduct and for the ways in which he's damaged careers", she concluded.

"I've met some incredible survivors who've really changed my life and my heart", Sorvino told writer and panel moderator Michaela Angela Davis when asked about her lengthy history with social justice causes - including her ongoing work against human trafficking as a UN Goodwill Ambassador.

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Judd said the first time she became aware of why Sir Peter failed to cast her was when he spoke about the decision a year ago as dozens of women publicly accused Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault. "They weren't the type of guys I wanted to work with - so I haven't", he said.

Judd told ABC she would donate any monetary reward to the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund. Judd had previously recounted the episode in an interview with The New York Times published last October.

Judd told ABC News that she knows "for a fact" that Weinstein defamed her and consequently harmed her career and limited her opportunities by robbing her of "status and prestige and power" through retaliation.

A spokesman for Weinstein had no immediate comment.

Weinstein, whose downfall kickstarted the #MeToo movement, has denied all allegations of sexual assault. "Ms. Judd brings this complaint to vindicate that principle, and to right the wrongs that Weinstein committed against her, among so many others".