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Judge dismisses Ashley Judd case against HarveyWeinstein

‘Damaged her
reputation’:
Harvey
Weinstein with
Ashley Judd
and Vince
Vaughn at a
1997 Oscars
party PICTURE: REX/GETTY

A SEXUAL harassment case brought by actress Ashley Judd against film mogul Harvey Weinstein has been dismissed by a US court.

But a judge in Los Angeles ruled she can pursue a defamation claim that Mr Weinstein sabotaged her career.

Ms Judd, 50, claimed she lost out on a part in The Lord of the Rings movie after rejecting the producer’s sexual advances in 1998. She alleged Mr Weinstein ‘cornered her in a hotel room under the guise of discussing business’ and ‘asked to give her a massage’. The 66-year-old then ‘used his power’ in Hollywood to ‘damage her reputation and limit her ability to find work’, her lawyers alleged.

‘Lost out’: Ashley Judd

Divergent star Ms Judd claimed that amounted to sexual harassment.

The law that deals with such claims in professional relationships was changed last year to include directors and producers after a rise in women coming forward to accuse film bosses of sexual misconduct. Lawyers for Mr Weinstein argued Ms Judd’s claim was not ‘pervasive or severe’ enough to amount to sexual harassment.

Yesterday, judge Philip Gutierrez ruled the change in the law could not be applied retrospectively. However, he said Ms Judd may pursue allegations of defamation and economic interference against Mr Weinstein. The producer denies trying to derail her career.

He is to stand trial in New York in May on five charges of sexually assaulting two other women.