According to Variety, actress and activist Ashley Judd now has permission to sue Harvey Weinstein for allegedly blacklisting her in Hollywood.
Double Jeopardy actress Judd was one of the very first women to come forward in October 2017's bombshell New York Times piece that alleged Weinstein had a long, storied history of paying off sexual harassment claims. Judd claimed that around 20 years ago, she was invited to Weinstein's hotel room where he tried unsuccessfully to get her to massage him, and then watch him shower.
On Wednesday, federal judge Philip S. Gutierrez dismissed Judd’s sexual harassment claim against the disgraced producer, claiming that it would "be unprecedented to apply the statute to a prospective employer," per Variety. However, he granted her permission to move forward on a suit over the alleged blacklisting that occurred after Judd rejected Weinstein's sexual advances.
Per Variety, Judd is claiming that Weinstein hurt her chances at earning a part in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings. Jackson previously stated in an interview that Weinstein did, in fact, portray Judd negatively when Weinstein was consulted on whether or not to give Judd — as well as Mighty Aphrodite star Mira Sorvino — parts in the blockbuster.
(Director Terry Zwigoff later confirmed that Weinstein dissuaded him from hiring Sorvino, his first choice for a role in comedy Bad Santa, in a statement on Twitter.)
"I recall Miramax [Weinstein's company at the time] telling us they were a nightmare to work with and we should avoid them at all cost," Jackson said in an interview with Stuff. "At the time, we had no reason to question what these guys were telling us. But in hindsight, I realize that this was very likely the Miramax smear campaign in full swing. I now suspect we were fed false information about both of these talented women."
Judd claimed that she had a positive experience on the only movie she worked on for Miramax, Smoke. Now, Judd can pursue a lawsuit against Weinstein for damages to her career.
"We are very pleased that today the District Court held that Ashley Judd can proceed with her lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein and continue her effort to vindicate the wrongs he committed against her among so many other women," said Judd’s attorney, Theodore Boutrous, per Variety. "The law should not tolerate this abuse of power to damage another’s career."
Refinery29 has reached out to representatives for Judd, Sorvino, and Weinstein for comment.