One of the first women to publicly accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment has had part of her case rejected on a technicality. A federal judge in Los Angeles dismissed Ashley Judd's sexual harassment case Wednesday, but ruled that her defamation case against the disgraced producer could proceed, reports Reuters. Judge Philip Gutierrez said he wasn't ruling on whether Weinstein harassed Judd "in the colloquial sense of the term," but on whether a California law banning sexual harassment in a "business, service, or professional relationship" applied to the case.
The judge said the law could not be applied retroactively to Judd's case, despite an amendment that made it applicable to directors and producers, the BBC reports. Weinstein attorney Phyllis Kupferstein welcomed the dismissal of the "unjustified" claim and added: "We believe that we will ultimately prevail on her remaining claims." Judd alleges that after she rejected Weinstein's advances in 1997, he retaliated by "torpedoing" her career and telling Lord of the Rings producer Peter Jackson that she was a "nightmare" to work with. Gutierrez ruled that the part of the lawsuit alleging "Weinstein used his power in the entertainment industry to damage Ms Judd's reputation and limit her ability to find work" could proceed. (A Weinstein email to close friends was leaked last month.)