A federal appeals court has reinstated the sexual harassment cases heard by actress Ashley Judd against film producer Harvey Weinstein.
In late 1996 or 1997, Weinstein invited Judd to a breakfast meeting in a hotel in Beverly Hills and she was led to her private hotel room where the two were alone, according to Wednesday's decision by the 9th U.S. District Court in San Francisco Ashley Judd vs. Harvey Weinstein .
Mr. Weinstein, who was wearing a bathrobe, asked Judd if he could give her a massage, and then if she would see him shower, both requests she refused. She then left the room, according to the decision.
Subsequently, director Peter Jackson and producer Fran Walsh considered Miss Judd a role in the upcoming Lord of the Rings film. But they did not throw her out after Weinstein told her that his company Miramax had had a "bad experience" with her before, that she was "a nightmare to work with" and that they should avoid her "at all costs". In late 201
In April 2018, she filed a lawsuit in state court on charges of libel, sexual harassment, intentional interference in future economic progress and violations of California's unfair competition laws. The case was moved to the U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, California, which ruled in Weinstein's favor.
The judgment was overturned by a unanimous three-judge appeals board. "According to the alleged facts, the relationship between Judd and Weinstein was characterized by a significant balance of power," the decision said.
"That is, by virtue of his professional position and influence as a top producer in Hollywood, Weinstein was uniquely placed to exercise coercion or leverage over Judd, who was a young actor at the beginning of his career at the time of the alleged harassment, "said the decision.
"Furthermore, given Weinstein's highly influential and" inevitable "presence in the film industry, the relationship was one that would have been difficult to end" without concrete difficulty "for Judd, whose livelihood as an actor depended on being cast for roles," "In the decision, citing the California State Code. The case was closed for further proceedings.
Ms. Jud's attorney, Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., a partner with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP in Los Angeles, said in a statement, This is an important victory, not only for Judd, but for all victims of sexual harassment in professional relationships.
"The court rightly states that the law in California prohibits sexual harassment and retaliation of filmmakers and others in powerful positions, even outside employment context, and we look forward to continuing this claim against Mr. Weinstein on trial. Mr. Weinstein's attorney, Phyllis Kupferstein, a partner with the Kupferstein Manual LLP in Los Angeles, said in a statement, "We are pleased that both Judd and Mr. Weinstein will have his day in court, where we expect the truth to shine
"The most minimal investigation of the events will show that Mr. Weinstein neither slandered Judd, nor hindered or disrupted her career, and certainly never took revenge on her and in fact had nothing to avenge. Instead, Weinstein advocated her work and approved her casting for two of his films.
"Mr. Weinstein fought for Ms. Judd as her first choice for the lead role in Good Will Hunting and actually arranged for Judd to fly to New York to be considered for that matter.
"Then Miss Judd was hired for two of Mr. Weinstein's films, Frida 2002 and Crossing Over with Harrison Ford 2009. Also the record Lord of the Rings comes finally to be made quite clear – that Weinstein had no authority over the project because it belonged to another production company that had full staff control of the film.
Earlier this month, a federal judge rejected a proposed class agreement in disputes filed by Harvey Weinstein's victims. 19659002]