Lawyers representing Harvey Weinstein have said that actress Ashley Judd made a ‘sexual deal’ with the producer, and that her lawsuit against him should be dropped.
Judd is suing Weinstein, claiming that he sabotaged her career after she refused his sexual advances.
She says that she also lost out on a lead role in the Lord of the Rings movies, claiming that Weinstein convinced director Peter Jackson not to cast her.
Countering her claims, Weinstein’s lawyers have said that she made a deal with the producer, allowing him to touch her if she ‘won an academy award’ in one of his films.
Papers filed claim that ‘Weinstein then attempted to live up to his part of the bargain by trying to cast Plaintiff in as many roles as possible that could earn her an Academy Award’.
Weinstein’s reps claim that her lawsuit ‘fails to plead that she and Weinstein had the kind of professional relationship grounded in trust covered by the Act, or that the purported harassment she experienced from Weinstein was severe or pervasive – especially since [she] alleged it was a one-time event and she and Weinstein struck, in [her] words, ‘a bargain’ with respect to future sexual activity’.
Judd’s lawyer has called the claims ‘offensive’.
“We look forward to opposing his flawed motion, moving forward with discovery into his outrageous behavior, and proving to a jury that Mr. Weinstein maliciously damaged Ms. Judd’s career because she resisted his sexual advances,” said Theodore J. Boutrous.
In a statement issued to People magazine, Weinstein’s legal team said: “Mr. Weinstein has never at any time committed an act of sexual assault, and it is wrong and irresponsible to conflate claims of impolitic behavior or consensual sexual contact later regretted, with an untrue claim of criminal conduct.
“There is a wide canyon between mere allegation and truth, and we are confident that any sober calculation of the facts will prove no legal wrongdoing occurred.
“Nonetheless, to those offended by Mr. Weinstein’s behavior, he remains deeply apologetic.”
Weinstein has been accused by more than 60 women of sexual misconduct, and pleaded not guilty to three new criminal charges last week.
He denies allegations of non-consensual sex.