Ashley Judd’s defamation lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein is expected to begin on January 28, 2020.
Judd filed the lawsuit back in April claiming that Harvey Weinstein damaged her career. The lawsuit is based on reports that Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh wanted to cast Judd in their Lord of the Rings movies. The suit alleges that since Judd rebuffed Weinstein, he “torpedoed Ms. Judd’s incredible professional opportunity.” Weinstein allegedly told Jackson and Walsh “that [his] studio had had a ‘bad experience’ with Ms. Judd, and that Ms. Judd was a ‘nightmare’ to work with and should be avoided ‘at all costs.’”
Weinstein and his lawyers have attempted to throw out the lawsuit, but have been unsuccessful. They claim too much time has passed for Judd to bring a suit seeking damages. Judd claimed she discovered Weinstein’s damaging remarks from a December 2017 interview with Jackson.
In September Judge Philip Gutierrez ruled that Judd would be allowed to proceed with her defamation and interference claims against Weinstein. However, Judd’s harassment claim was tossed out, but she was given the opportunity to amend it.
“Plaintiff has alleged that Jackson and Walsh would not have revealed the contents of their confidential conversation with Defendant had she asked them why she had not been cast. The Court find this allegation plausible. Individuals often do not reveal the content of their confidential conversations, especially when the conversation is with a powerful figure who carries influence over them and includes derogatory information about the person inquiring about it.”
He also declared that Judd’s defamation suit could continue because Judd’s allegations “are sufficient to give rise to an inference of actual malice such that the common interest privilege cannot bar her claims at the motion to dismiss stage.”
While a trial date has been outlined, both parties are expected to head to court-orchestrated mediation next month. However, many believe the mediation won’t go anywhere.
In fact, Judd’s attorney Theodore Boutrous spoke to Deadline, “We intend to move quickly to discovery and trial on behalf of Ms. Judd and look forward to proving Mr. Weinstein’s outrageous conduct.”
The trial is expected to take last two weeks, and will more than likely heavily involve Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson.
Judd’s lawsuit against Weinstein is the least of his worries. He is still being investigated by federal prosecutors as well as the Manhattan D.A.’s office, and the New York Police Department. The Los Angeles Police Department also sent a trio of cases to the L.A. County D.A. in February. The Beverly Hills Police also passed two cases of sexual assault to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office back in January.