Court restores Ashley Judd's sexual harassment case against Harvey Weinstein
Actor Ashley Judd is one step closer to justice as the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld her sexual harassment case against disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein on Wednesday. A district court had earlier rejected the case but with the federal court's judgment, Judd is allowed to pursue it alongside her defamation case against the convicted movie mogul. Here are more details.
What happened between Judd and Weinstein?
The case, filed in 2018, was on hold while Weinstein was being put on trial for rape and sexual harassment of two victims. In the lawsuit, Judd accuses Weinstein of coercing her to watch him shower and "give him a massage" at a hotel room in Beverly Hills sometime between 1996 and 1997. Judd was not working with Weinstein then.
Weinstein is accused of sabotaging Judd's career
As a desperate escape plan, Judd left by saying she would comply only if she got an Academy Award. The actor alleged that she was almost on board The Lord of The Rings but Weinstein spoiled it by saying "she was a nightmare to work with." Weinstein's attorney Phyllis Kupferman had maintained that the former promoted her for two roles and never targeted her.
Law against sexual abuse upheld in Judd's case
Now, backing Judd's lawsuit, US District Judge Mary Murguia on Wednesday upheld the California law that prohibits sexual harassment by people, other than employers, with professional power, including teachers and landlords. Noting Weinstein's position of "coercive power," Murguia stated that Judd's situation was "substantially similar" to clauses mentioned in the law.
Take a look at what the judge said
"Given Weinstein's highly influential and 'unavoidable' presence in the film industry, the relationship was one that would have been difficult to terminate 'without tangible hardship' to Judd, whose livelihood as an actor depended on being cast for roles," the judge added.
Notably, Weinstein is on trial elsewhere too
This development comes a day after Weinstein's legal team appealed to the bankruptcy court to approve a $18.875 million victims' fund for settling a range of sexual abuse charges against him by many other victims. This move was to overlook New York federal judge Alvin Hellerstein's verdict, who rejected the class-action plan for having anomalies about calculating compensation plans against varying charges.