Ashley Judd's sexual harassment complaint against Weinstein is again dismissed


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January 10, 2019, 02:53 GMT

By Alex Johnson

LOS ANGELES – A federal judge has again canceled part of the lawsuit for sexual harassment and defamation of actor Ashley Judd against film producer Harvey Weinstein on Wednesday.

US District Judge Philip Gutierrez first dismissed the sexual harassment portion of Judd's complaint in September, finding that Weinstein and Judd did not have a specific type of business relationship allowing such claims. under California law.

Gutierrez ruled at the time and again Wednesday that Judd could pursue her libel suit against Weinstein, whom she accuses of having fired for throwing her into "The Lord of the Rings" and other films after that. She became one of the first Hollywood actors to speak out against her alleged actor. harassment of women.

"We have said from the beginning that this request was unjustified and we are happy that the court saw it as we do," said Phyllis Kupferstein, a lawyer at Weinstein. "We think we will eventually override his remaining claims."

Harvey Weinstein leaves court in New York on June 5th. Folder Brendan McDermid / Reuters

The California legislature revised the law last year, specifically adding directors and film producers to the categories of people who may be held liable under the measure. Judd reinstated the harassment complaint under the revised law, which came into force on January 1.

Gutierrez ruled on Wednesday that the changes were so significant that they fundamentally changed California law and made it a new law. And since the Legislature has not specified that the amended law should be applied retroactively, Judd can not use it to pursue his sexual harassment complaint, he said.

But he emphasized that he did not question the underlying claim of Judd to sexual harassment.

"The Court states that it does not determine whether the complainant was sexually harassed in the usual sense of the term," wrote Gutierrez. "The only question raised by the current motion is whether the harassment of which the plaintiff was a victim falls under the California law for which she sued."

Judd complained in April 2017. According to court records, Judd allegedly asserted that Weinstein, then considered one of the most powerful characters in Hollywood, had invited Judd into a hotel room at Beverly Hills in late 1996 or early 1997 to discuss possible roles in film.

But when she arrived at the hotel room, Weinstein "appeared in a bathrobe and, instead of discussing film roles, asked if he could offer her a massage," said Judd, according to the court documents. She declined, as she did with other alleged Weinstein proceedings, including a request to watch him take a shower, according to documents cited by Judd.

In 2017, Peter Jackson, director of the franchise "The Lord of the Rings," told a newspaper in his native New Zealand that he was seriously considering embodying Judd and actor Mira Sorvino in the movies, but that Miramax, the Weinstein company at the time, told him that they "were a nightmare and we had to avoid them at all costs".

"At the time, we had no reason to question what these guys were telling us – but in hindsight, I realize that it was most likely the Miramax smear campaign that was in full swing, "Jackson said.

Weinstein 's newest studio, The Weinstein Co., sacked him in October 2017, while dozens of other Hollywood personalities alleged inappropriate behavior.

In May, Weinstein was arrested in New York accused of rape, criminal sexual acts, sexual abuse and sexual misconduct. He is scheduled to appear in court on March 7. for a preliminary hearing.

"Weinstein says all these allegations are false and he hopes to be fully justified," his lawyers said.

Andrew Blankstein contributed.