Ashley Judd Sues Harvey Weinstein, Says Her Career Opportunities 'Were Significantly Diminished'

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Ashley Judd's chances of landing a role on "Lord of the Rings" got torpedoed after she turned down Harvey Weinstein's alleged sexual demands.so she says in a new lawsuit. Judd, who was among the first women to publicly speak out about Weinstein's behavior past year to The New York Times, notes that since the Weinstein story broke, "Lord of the Rings" director Peter Jackson said Weinstein discouraged him from casting Judd.

Weinstein has previously denied trying to derail Judd's career.

Ashley Judd and her lawyers have filed a lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein, whom she alleges sexually harassed her and then blacklisted her in Hollywood.

Actress Minnie Driver was eventually cast in the role.

After she rebuffed him, Judd alleges, Weinstein spread rumors and lies about her that were created to thwart her career in Hollywood.

A representative for Weinstein issued a statement hours later saying the onetime film studio chieftain had "neither defamed Ms Judd nor ever interfered with Ms Judd's career".

Jackson says Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino both lost the opportunity work on The Lord of the Rings after Weinstien said they were hard to work with.

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The 50-year-old actress - who was one of the first women to publicly accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment - read an open letter during an event in NY hosted by the Tribeca Film Festival and the Time's Up movement, which was promoting equality in the workplace. "We look forward to a vigorous defense of these claims".

Instead, the statement said, Weinstein "championed" Judd's work and "repeatedly approved her casting for two of his movies" - "Frida" in 2002 starring Salma Hayek, and "Crossing Over" with Harrison Ford in 2009.

"I recall Miramax telling us they were a nightmare to work with and we should avoid them at all costs".

Judd told sexual assault survivors: "We can heal, that has been my experience".

Upon reports of Jackson's remarks, Judd tweeted her recollection of the meeting with Jackson and Walsh. "I appreciate the truth coming out".

"Thank you Peter Jackson for being honest", she tweeted.

"No person - in whatever job, in whatever industry - should have to forfeit professional aspirations and the right to earn a living to the abusive whims of the powerful", Judd's suit says. "It's time that Mr. Weinstein be held accountable for that conduct and for the ways in which he's damaged careers".

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