Ashley Judd’s lawyer urged the ninth Circuit Court docket of Appeals on Friday to revive a sexual harassment declare in opposition to Harvey Weinstein.
Judd sued the producer in April 2018, alleging that Weinstein had sexually harassed her at a lodge room within the mid-1990s, after which blackballed her within the business when she rebuffed him. She cited an interview with director Peter Jackson, through which Jackson stated Miramax had discouraged him from hiring Judd for “The Lord of the Rings,” saying she was a “nightmare to work with.”
U.S. District Choose Philip Gutierrez allowed Judd to pursue her defamation and retaliation claims, however dismissed the harassment allegation, discovering that Judd’s function as a “potential worker” was not lined below California sexual harassment legislation.
Judd appealed the dismissal, and a three-judge panel of the ninth Circuit heard argument on the case by way of videoconference on Friday morning.
Judd’s lawyer, Theodore Boutrous, argued that Weinstein held energy over her even when she was not engaged on a Miramax mission on the time of the lodge room assembly.
“Ms. Judd couldn’t sever her ties with Harvey Weinstein at the moment. He was the gateway to skilled success for actors,” Boutrous argued. “He was nonetheless the overlord of the movie business.”
Weinstein is presently serving a 23-year sentence in a jail close to Buffalo, N.Y., for rape and sexual assault. Judd was among the many first to reveal his sexual misconduct, telling the New York Instances in October 2017 that he had tried to therapeutic massage her, and requested her to observe him take a bathe. She refused and left.
Judd had beforehand labored on one Miramax movie, “Smoke,” which got here out in 1995.
Arguing for Weinstein, lawyer Phyllis Kupferstein asserted that their relationship had ended after that movie, and that they’d no enterprise relationship on the time of the lodge assembly.
“The connection needs to be present on the time of the harassment,” she argued. “That’s over.”
The California Legislature amended the state sexual harassment legislation in 2018 to explicitly cowl the type of casual relationships usually discovered within the leisure business, reminiscent of these between producers and actors.
Choose Morgan Christen, one of many three panel judges, urged that the courtroom may construe the statute to seek advice from any enterprise relationship the place one get together has coercive energy over one other — fairly than counting on the record of relationships spelled out within the statute.
“I think about the connection won’t simply be depending on a job title,” she stated.
Choose Sidney Stein appeared to again Boutrous’ rivalry concerning Weinstein’s affect over Judd’s profession.
“I don’t suppose there’s any query that he was a serious participant within the business on the time,” Stein stated. “I feel it will be cheap for her to suppose that this man held substantial sway over her profession.”