A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed Ashley Judd's sexual harassment claims against disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. She alleges he derailed her career after she turned down his advances.
The actor says she was filming Kiss the Girls in 1997 when Weinstein invited her to his hotel room. Once there, she alleges, Weinstein offered to massage her and asked that she watch him shower.
Judd's attorneys argued the sexual harassment claim in her civil lawsuit was valid because California law recognizes that a producer/director can be held liable for their business relations. But the judge said the harassment law only went into effect Jan. 1, 2019, and could not be retroactively applied to her case.
"We have said from the beginning that this claim was unjustified, and we are pleased that the court saw it as we did," Weinstein's attorney, Phyllis Kupferstein, said in a statement to BuzzFeed News. "We believe that we will ultimately prevail on her remaining claims."
Judd's other claims, including defamation, interference with prospective economic advantage, and violations of California’s Unfair Competition Law, can still proceed.
"Nothing about today's ruling changes that Ms. Judd's case is moving forward on multiple claims," her attorney, Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., said in a statement. "The court today dismissed only one of Ms. Judd’s four claims for relief. In doing so, it made clear that it was not determining whether Ms. Judd was sexually harassed in the colloquial sense of the term."
In an interview with ABC News, Judd said she was "maligned and defamed" because she stood up for herself, which led to her no longer being considered for a role in the Lord of the Rings franchise.
"I was being invited to consider which of the two roles I preferred," Judd said. Then, "it was just, poof. We never heard anything back."
Judd's is just one of multiple civil lawsuits related to sexual assault and harassment that were filed against Weinstein after dozens of women came forward with similar allegations to the stories published about him in the New York Times and the New Yorker.