Ashley Judd says that 20 years ago, she felt something "unseen" holding her acting career back—and in December last year, she realized that it was Harvey Weinstein, getting revenge for her rejection of his sexual advances. In a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday, Judd accuses the disgraced producer of "torpedoing" her career by spreading "false and malicious statements," People reports. The lawsuit states that by disparaging her to Lord of the Rings producer Peter Jackson and his team in 1997, Weinstein was retaliating against Judd "for rejecting his sexual demands approximately one year earlier, when he cornered her in a hotel room under the guise of discussing business," reports Reuters.
Jackson said in a December interview that in what he now believes was probably "the Miramax smear campaign in full swing," the Weinstein brothers described Judd and Mira Sorvino as a "nightmare to work with," causing him to avoid casting them in the blockbuster trilogy. Judd tweeted Monday that she is suing for "economic remedy due to damage done to my career as a result of sexual harassment," and "financial recuperation" will go to the Time's Up movement to support women facing harassment and retaliation. A Weinstein rep tells the Hollywood Reporter that Weinstein denies interfering with Judd's career and in fact "championed her work," casting her in two movies. (When Judd first accused Weinstein of harassment, he said she was "going through a tough time" and he would contact her after a year.)