A federal appeals court on Wednesday ruled Ashley Judd could sue Harvey Weinstein for sexual harassment.
A panel of three judges of the ninth U.S. Circuit Court found that the plaintiff should be allowed to pursue both sides of her case against Weinstein. A lower court judge had denied allegations of sexual harassment but left her defamation claim intact.
Judd was one of the first people to publicly accuse Weinstein. She filed the lawsuit in 2018, alleging that at a meeting at a Beverly Hills hotel in late 1996 or early 1997, the producer tried to force her to see him in the shower and give him a massage, and then she felt in Hollywood as a ‘nightmare’ to work with after she rejected him.
The acclaimed producer Weinstein, after Shakespeare in Love and Chicago Oscar-winners, was jailed for 23 years in March after being found guilty of rape. He is being held at the Wende Maximum Security Correctional Facility, Buffalo, New York.
Judd̵7;s lawyers were prosecuted by Weinstein under California law that prohibits sexual harassment by people, other than employers, with professional health, including teachers and owners.
The court agreed that the law could apply to situations such as the one Judd faces, when she was dealing with Weinstein but not working for him. The case is likely to go to trial early next year.
“Weinstein was in a unique place to exercise coercive power or influence over Judd, who was a young actor at the beginning of her career at the time of the alleged harassment,” U.S. District Judge Mary Murguia wrote in the opinion.
In addition, due to Weinstein’s highly influential and ‘inevitable’ presence in the film industry, the relationship was one that was going to be difficult to end ‘without tangible suffering’ with Judd, whose livelihood her role as an actor depended on her being cast for roles. “
A federal appeals court on Wednesday ruled Ashley Judd, appearing in 2018, could sue Harvey Weinstein for sexual harassment. A panel of three judges of the ninth U.S. Circuit Court found that the plaintiff should be allowed to pursue both parties to her case against Weinstein.
The alleged producer Weinstein, after Shakespeare in Love and Oscar-winning Chicago, was jailed for 23 years in March after being found guilty of rape. He is being held at the Wende Maximum Security Correctional Facility, Buffalo, New York. He pictured it in his February trial
Judd’s lawyers made it explicit when she filed the lawsuit that was being brought in court in part to broaden the use of the law to protect against predatory relationships in Hollywood, and praised the decision of the 9th. Wednesday circuit.
“This is an important victory not only for Ms. Judd but for all victims of sexual harassment in professional relationships,” Judd’s attorney Theodore Boutrous Jr. said in a statement.
“The court correctly considers that California law prohibits sexual harassment and retaliation by filmmakers and others in strong positions, even outside the context of employment, and we expect We look forward to pursuing this claim against Mr Weinstein in the process. “
Harvey Weinstein and Ashley Judd pictured in 1997. Judd filed the lawsuit in 2018, alleging that at a meeting at a Beverly Hills hotel in 1996 or early 1997, the producer tried to force her to see him shower and give him a massage, then her daughters in Hollywood as a ‘nightmare to work with her after she was rejected
An email seeking Weinstein’s attorney, Phyllis Kupferman, was not sent immediately. Kupferman said earlier that Weinstein does not hurt Judd’s career but promoted it, approved it for roles in two of his films.
The verdict comes two weeks after a New York judge rejected a $ 19 million deal between Weinstein and many of the women being charged with sexual misconduct. Judd was not involved in the proposed deal.
The 52-year-old stars of ‘Kiss The Girls’ and ‘Double Jeopardy’ were among the women who told their Weinstein stories to the New York Times and New Yorker in 2017, and made the the #MeToo movement as a global phenomenon.
Harvey Weinstein enters court on February 24, 2020 in New York City
She sued Weinstein the following year after director Peter Jackson said in an interview that Weinstein had warned him against working with Judd when he considered her for the films ‘Lord of the Rings’.
The case was suspended through the completion of Weinstein’s criminal trial in New York, where the 68-year-old producer was convicted of rape and sexual assault on two women. He faces similar charges in Los Angeles.
Weinstein denied that he was involved in non-consensual sexual activities.