Sunday, 24 March, 2019

Judge Again Dismisses Ashley Judd’s Harassment Claim Against Harvey Weinstein

Weinstein denies defaming Judd or interfering in her career Weinstein denies defaming Judd or interfering in her career
Julia Gonzales | 11 January, 2019, 22:48

Her sexual harassment lawsuit was re-filed following a change in California state law after her initial claim was rejected by Judge Gutierrez in a Los Angeles federal court last September. In her lawsuit, which she filed in April 2018, the actress accused Weinstein of smearing her reputation by discouraging director Peter Jackson from casting her in his blockbuster movie franchise "The Lord of the Rings".

Ashley Judd was one of Mr Weinstein's original accusers.

The judge ruled that Ashley and Harvey's relationship did not fall within that law and that a producer-actress relationship is not covered under that law.

Gutierrez took pains to say he "is not determining whether Plaintiff was sexually harassed in the colloquial sense of the term", but only whether the incident fell under the scope of the statute her lawsuit cited.

Judd, one of the first women to come forward with claims about the once-powerful Weinstein, alleged that during a meeting to discuss future movie roles, Weinstein "appeared in his bathrobe, and, instead of discussing film roles, asked if he could give her a massage".

Judd's suit claims that Mr. Weinstein invited her out for breakfast back in late 1996 and early 1997 at the Peninsula Hotel.

The judge said Judd had "adequately stated a claim for defamation, intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, and violation of the [Unfair Competition Law]", based on her allegation that Weinstein retaliated against her.

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Reacting to Weinstein's win, his lawyer, Phyllis Kupferstein, said in a statement: 'We have said from the beginning that this claim was unjustified, and we are pleased that the court saw it as we did.

"I lost money. I lost status and prestige and power in my career as a direct result of having been sexually harassed and rebuffing the sexual harassment", Judd explained at the time.

But Judd's lawyer, Theodore J Boutrous Jr, said that this ruling does not upend Judd's complaint.

"The burden on Weinstein has the potential of being dramatically and unfairly negative if the stay is denied".

Representatives for Judd and Weinstein could not immediately be reached for comment on the ruling.

Weinstein, 66, also faces criminal prosecution in New York City and is the target of other criminal investigations.

The former movie mogul has denied engaging in nonconsensual sexual activity. In October of 2017-just before the resurgence of the viral #MeToo movement-she recounted the accusations again, this time naming Harvey Weinstein as that mogul. Weinstein has pleaded not guilty.

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