On Monday, Ashley Judd filed a lawsuit against film producer Harvey Weinstein, alleging he prevented the actress’s attainment of roles due to her rejection of his sexual advances.
“I lost career opportunity,” the Kiss the Girls star told ABC News. “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. … 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.”
Judd’s assertion is not without evidence: in December, The Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson revealed to New Zealand publication Stuff that Weinstein discouraged him from considering her for his hit series based on J.R. Tolkien’s celebrated novels. Regarding Judd and fellow Weinstein accuser Mira Sorvino, Jackson claimed he was told “they were a nightmare to work with and [he] should avoid them at all costs.”
The Miramax chief may have said just that.
Perhaps Weinstein desired her, and the wound of her rejection manifested a move to kneecap her career, the proverbial baseball bat being swung in homage to Harvey and brother Bob’s reputation as Tinseltown gangsters.
Hollywood’s a rough chase.
In a typical pursuit-of-the-dream scenario, an aspiring cinematic superstar pilgrimages to LA via their 12-year-old bucket of rust to slave as your barista, bartender, or dishwasher. Or all three. And between preparing your venti half-caf triple 5-pump vanilla extra-hot no-foam almond milk latte…and liberating the plate from your picked-at edamame lettuce wrap courtesy of a high-powered sprayer ricocheting cranberry glaze and your DNA all over their apron and arms and, sometimes, face…and mixing your Ramos gin fizz with raw egg white and flour water as they feign interest in both the men and women adorning the bar in hopes of garnering tips sufficient to fund a Laundromat Sunday … amid all that, they scurry to acting classes taught by former sitcom guest stars and hustle to auditions for independent films and laxative commercials, all the while crossing their palsied, stained dishpan fingers for a chance to claw their way from two-roommate North Hollywood squalor to easy street in a Beverly Hills fortress of solitude.
In an interview years ago, Ashley stressed that being from a famous and successful family didn’t help her succeed in Hollywood.
Ashley does seem to have pulled out of the spotlight, to a degree, by choice.
According to her 2012 memoir, the pain of her life’s circumstances has stimulated her focus on humanitarian work around the earth. In an article she wrote for Oprah.com, she shone bright as compassionate aid-worker, the noted global ambassador for health organization Population Services International since 2002 (and board member from 2004 to 2013).
Still, no one should have targeted her.
If the stories abounding are true, Harvey Weinstein clearly abused of his power. And in very strange ways — who wants to be watched while they shower? Who ejaculates into a potted plant for kicks? Welcome to Hollywood. The land of the strange. And by all reports as of late, an epicenter of sexual harassment.
Ashley Judd may well have been a victim of that oppressive system.
If so, I hope she receives justice — whatever that rightly entails.