Disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein wants a judge to toss a lawsuit accusing him of destroying Ashley Judd’s career because she rebuffed his sexual advances, claiming he never defamed the star — but simply offered his opinion that she was very difficult to work with.
The actress claimed that Weinstein dissuaded director Peter Jackson from casting her in the “Lord of the Rings” in 1998 as retaliation for rebuffing him during a meeting at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills.
“I lost career 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 said when she filed the suit in Los Angeles Superior Court in April.
“My career opportunities, after having been defamed by Harvey Weinstein, were significantly diminished. My career was damaged because I rebuffed Mr. Weinstein’s sexual advances. I know it for a fact.”
Last year, Jackson publicly admitted that Weinstein stopped him from hiring female actors, including Judd and Mira Sorvino by saying they were a “nightmare to work with.”
But on Tuesday, lawyers for the pervy producer said that statement isn’t defamatory, since its just an opinion, Variety reported.
Attorneys also argued that Weinstein’s conduct didn’t amount to sexual harassment — because he just asked for a massage and for Judd to watch him shower.
“These allegations fall far short of meeting the ‘pervasive or severe’ required element,” attorneys Phyllis Kupferstein and Cynthia L. Zedalis wrote.
To deflect the creep’s advances, Judd told Weinstein she would only let him touch her if he got her an Academy Award, she said.
His attorneys argue that his subsequent efforts to “live up to the bargain” by trying to cast her in Oscar-worthy roles prove he wasn’t trying to ruin her career.