Los Angeles Judge Throws Out Ashley Judd’s Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Against Harvey Weinstein

Written by on January 29, 2019

Maria Therese Agcopra Agcopra – Fourth Estate Contributor

Los Angeles, CA, United States (4E) – A federal judge in Los Angeles dismissed on Wednesday a sexual harassment claim filed by actress Ashley Judd against movie producer Harvey Weinstein.

In the lawsuit, filed by Judd in April 2018, the actress claimed that Weinstein smeared her reputation when he discouraged Peter Jackson from casting her in the hit movie franchise “The Lord of the Rings”. According to the actress, the incident happened in 1998 after she refused his sexual advances the year before.

U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez’s ruling, however, is not based on whether Judd was sexually harassed by Weinstein in the “colloquial sense of the term,” but rather that her relationship as an actress with the movie producer is not among the professional relationships specified under the California law on which basis Judd is suing.

In September last year, Gutierrez dropped the sexual harassment claim Judd made against Weinstein on the ground that their professional relationship is not covered by the said California law. The law was revised last year, adding film directors and producers to the list of people who can be liable under the said measure.

The “Double Jeopardy” actress refiled her case under the revised law, which took effect on January 1 this year. However, since the California Legislature didn’t specify if the law can be applied retroactively, Judd cannot use the same to substantiate her claim against Weinstein.

“The only question presented by the current motion is whether the harassment that Plaintiff allegedly suffered falls within the scope of the California statute that she has sued under,” Judge Gutierrez wrote in his decision, as quoted by NBC News.

Although the sexual harassment claim has been thrown out based on a question of law, Judge Gutierrez said Judd could still proceed with the defamation case against him, CNBC reported.

Meanwhile, Weinstein is set to stand trial in New York in May to face five charges of sexual harassment, including rape, involving two other women.

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