A federal judge in Los Angeles on Wednesday dismissed Ashley Judd's sexual harassment charge against film producer Harvey Weinstein but said he could pursue a libel suit against him.
Judd accused Weinstein of defaming her in 1998 after she refused what she said were her sexual advances a year earlier.
In its process, opened in April 2018, the Double penalty The actress accused Weinstein of defaming his reputation by discouraging director Peter Jackson from hiring her in his box office film franchise. Lord of the Rings.
Judd, one of the first women in October 2017 to publicly accuse Weinstein of sexual misconduct, accused the Hollywood movie mogul of sexual harassment in violation of a California law that prohibits such conduct by a person in "business, services or relationship professional". other.
In a footnote to his ruling, US District Judge Philip Gutierrez said he was not determining whether Judd was sexually harassed by Weinstein "in the colloquial sense of the term."
But Gutierrez said that Judd's relationship as an actress with the film producer was not covered by the California statute in which she sued, nor by a 2019 amendment.
"We have said from the outset that this claim was unjustified, and we are glad that the court has seen it as we have done. We believe we will finally prevail over your remaining claims," Weinstein's lawyer Phyllis Kupferstein said in a statement.
Judd's representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Weinstein will be tried in May in New York for five counts, including rape, involving two other women.
The disgraced Hollywood producer of such films as Shakespeare in love was accused of sexual misconduct by more than 70 women. He denied the allegations, saying any sexual encounter was consensual.
Judd's suit alleged that Weinstein "cornered her in a hotel room in 1997 under the pretext of discussing business." When she refused his demands, he retaliated by doing what she called "baseless spots" against her to Lord of the Rings director Jackson, and she lost a part in the movie.
Weinstein denied having defamed Judd or interfered in his career.