The ugly headlines starring disgraced megaproducer Harvey Weinstein continue, but this time his lawyers get the unenviable lead role, calling for the dismissal of Ashley Judd's lawsuit against him because the actress allegedly worked out a sexual "deal" with the producer.
In late April, Judd filed a lawsuit against Weinstein for defamation and sexual harassment with the intent of damaging her career. "I lost opportunity, I lost money, I lost status and prestige and power in my career as a direct result of having been sexually harassed and rebuffing the sexual harassment," Judd told "Good Morning America" hours after filing the suit.
According to Judd, Weinstein deliberately worked behind the scenes to keep director Peter Jackson from casting her in "Lord of the Rings." Jackson said last December that Weinstein fed him "false information" in his attempt to convince him not to cast Judd or Mira Sorvino in the series. "At the time, we had no reason to question what these guys were telling us — but in hindsight, I realize that this was very likely the Miramax smear campaign in full swing," said Jackson.
"Weinstein torpedoed Ms. Judd’s incredible professional opportunity when he told (them) that the studio had had a 'bad experience' with Ms. Judd, and that Ms. Judd was a 'nightmare' to work with and should be avoided 'at all costs,'" the lawsuit states.
As AFP reports, Weinstein's legal team said in a motion filed Tuesday that the case should be dismissed because Judd supposedly struck a "bargain" with the producer to allow him to touch her if she "won an Academy Award in one of his films."
In an attempt to "live up to his part of the bargain," Weinstein supposedly worked to get her into as many Oscar-potential roles as possible, including in the film that first united Weinstein and Matt Damon, "Good Will Hunting." He wasn't working to "torpedo" her career but to "advance" it, Weinstein's attorneys claim.
Judd's spokesperson blasted the claim as not just "baseless," but "offensive."
"Mr. Weinstein's arguments seeking to escape the consequences of his despicable misconduct are not only baseless, they are offensive," the actress' spokesperson said in a statement. "We look forward to opposing his flawed motion, moving forward with discovery into his outrageous behavior, and proving to a jury that Mr. Weinstein maliciously damaged Ms. Judd's career because she resisted his sexual advances."