Film star Ashley Judd has become the latest to file a lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein, accusing the embattled former Hollywood producer of damaging her career after she rebuffed his sexual advances.
In a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles, Judd alleges sexual harassment and defamation, saying Weinstein "badmouthed her to filmmaker Peter Jackson and cost her a role in the Lord of the Rings trilogy," according to Hollywood Reporter.
Judd, now 50, says in 1998 she was in contention for one of two major roles in the adaptation of the J.R.R. Tolkien books when Weinstein told Jackson that she was "a 'nightmare' to work with and should be avoided 'at all costs.' "
"Mr. Weinstein's abusive conduct toward others has caused no end of damage to aspiring actors and others in the film and entertainment industry," Judd said in a statement, according to Variety. "As my experience and the experience of others shows, even a few false statements from Mr. Weinstein could destroy potentially career-changing professional opportunities. It's time that Mr. Weinstein be held accountable for that conduct and for the ways in which he's damaged careers."
Weinstein, whose production company, Miramax, then held the rights to Lord of the Rings, has denied trying to hurt Judd's career.