The #MeToo movement began last year when allegations of sexual harassment surfaced against movie producer Harvey Weinstein. Actresses who had worked with him began to share their stories of sexual misconduct by him and others and then the movement took off, with people across the nation revealing the names of those who had for years engaged in sexual harassment and retaliation in the workplace.
It is perhaps fitting that #MeToo has worked its way back around to the man whose misconduct was ground zero for the movement. Ashely Judd recently filed a lawsuit against Weinstein in which she alleges a pattern of sexual harassment, defamation and retaliation that harmed her career.
In a 28-page complaint, Judd says his behavior prevented from being cast in the hit move franchise “Lord of the Rings.”
She said in court documents that she was invited by Weinstein to a breakfast meeting in a Beverly Hills hotel. The Hollywood movie magnate greeted her wearing nothing more than a bathrobe – and then asked for a massage.
After she refused, his production company began spreading the word to “Lord of the Rings” directors, saying Judd was “a nightmare to work with” and that they should avoid her “at all costs.”
Director Peter Jackson had been considering her for a role in his iconic move. Last December, he revealed in an interview that he had discussed the actress in a conversation with Weinstein back then.
Judd was among the first to go public with allegations of sexual misconduct by Weinstein.
According to a statement released by Weinstein, her recent claims are false and that he had repeatedly “championed her work.”
The #MeToo movement is far from over. If you have suffered harassment and retaliation, contact an experienced employment law attorney to discuss your legal options.