Ashley Judd Says She Was Unaware of Weinstein's Smear Campaign

(Bloomberg) -- Ashley Judd, one of the first actresses to publicly accuse producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual abuse, said she wasn’t made aware of the long smear campaign allegedly conducted by the Hollywood producer until a few months ago.

It was only when “Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson said in December that Weinstein had blacklisted her that she realized the producer had tried to sabotage her career after she resisted his sexual advances in the 1990s. Jackson said Weinstein’s Miramax film company told him the actress was hard to work with and should be avoided. Jackson had wanted to cast her in the popular fantasy series.

Judd, 50, is suing Weinstein for retaliating against her and seeking damages for defamation and sexual harassment.

“The point of the lawsuit is for there finally to be an economic remedy for those of us who have had damage to our careers as a result of criminal behavior,” Judd said at Bloomberg’s Business of Equality Summit in New York.

“It happens so commonly, especially to women in workplaces across the country, the shift that goes away, the loss of opportunity for overtime, being overlooked for the plum assignment,” Judd said. “Those things hurt American families.”

A spokesman for Weinstein told the New York Times last month that the producer had neither defamed the actress nor interfered with her career.

Judd also told Summit attendees that fellow actor Michelle Williams was “staggered” to discover she had received a tiny fraction of what Mark Wahlberg was paid for reshoots for “All the Money in the World” even though they had the same agency negotiating on their behalf.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.