Harvey Weinstein’s lawyers ask judge to dismiss Ashley Judd Lawsuit

ABC/Rick Rowell(LOS ANGELES) -- Harvey Weinstein's attorneys are urging a federal judge to dismiss Ashley Judd’s civil suit that alleges Weinstein ruined her career by blackballing her in Hollywood.

Judd sued Weinstein in April, claiming the disgraced Hollywood mogul sabotaged her chances of landing a role in the blockbuster The Lord of the Rings film trilogy in 1998, after she rejected his sexual demands a year earlier during an encounter in a Beverly Hills hotel room. 

The suit was filed after Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson admitted in a December 2017 interview that he had been considering both Judd and actress Mira Sorvino -- who also says Weinstein sexually harassed her -- for roles in LOTR but decided not to cast them after Miramax, the studio that was owned by Harvey Weinstein and his brother, Bob, told them the actresses were a "nightmare" to work with.

Jackson said he later realized the Weinsteins' comments were likely part of a smear campaign against the actresses.

Weinstein's lawyers argued in a filing in federal district court in Los Angeles that Judd waited too long to bring her civil suit, stating she "certainly knew of the alleged sexual harassment and her injuries, if any, at the time of the hotel encounter" and "further knew she was not cast in LOTR by the time filming began." The first film was released in December 2001 but the legal memo states that Judd "claims she did not know until late 2017 that Weinstein was purportedly behind the casting decision.”

In a statement obtained by Deadline, Judd's attorney, Ted Boutrous, responded to the motion, calling it "baseless” and "flawed," adding they look forward to "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.”

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