Weeks after the New York Times published its bombshell exposé on film titan Harvey Weinstein, actor Ashley Judd gave her first video interview. Judd was one of the first high-profile women to come forward about Weinstein. She went on record for the Times story, and has been very vocal about the plight of women in Hollywood since. In an interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer, Judd opened up about her decision to go on the record and the subsequent fallout.
"It's been an absolutely tremendously moving two and a half weeks," Judd began. She said she made the decision to come forward while she was on a run. She also consulted her parents about it. "When I talked with my mom, I told her what I was thinking about doing, and she said, 'Go get him.'" Judd's mother is the legendary country singer Wynonna Judd.
The Times piece describes Judd's encounter with Weinstein, which at this point is very familiar to anyone who's read the (many, many) accounts of Weinstein's harassment. She went to a hotel for a breakfast meeting with Weinstein. She was then invited to his bedroom, where he appeared in a rome and requested that she give him a massage. He also asked if she could watch him shower.
Judd provides more details in her interview with Sawyer. "I remember the lurch when I went to the desk and I said, 'Uh, Mr. Weinstein, is he on the patio?' And they said, 'He's in his room,'" Judd recalled. She then went into his room, where he then made his advances. "I had a business appointment. Which is, you know, that's his pattern of sexual predation, that was how he rolled."
She continued, "I fought with this volley of 'nos', which he ignored." He continued to badger her. Finally, Judd told him she'd agree to do what he asked when she won an Oscar. He countered that, sure, when she was nominated for an Oscar, he'd finally get a massage or what have you.
"And I said, 'No! When I win an Oscar!' And then I just fled," Judd recounted. She explained that she sometimes castigates herself for this decision, because in a way she agreed to his demands. "The part of me that understands how shame works says, 'That was absolutely brilliant. Good job, kid, you got outta there. Well done.'"
In the interview, Sawyer listed the various defenses women used against Weinstein. She pointed out that Cara Delevingne started singing to prevent sexual interaction with the producer.
"We act like we're about between 3 and 6 years old in those moments," Judd explained, nodding. Later in the interview, she added that Weinstein's victims shouldn't be embarrassed for the ways they avoided Weinstein. She said, "It's really okay to have responded however we responded."
Watch the interview with Judd, below.
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