Ashley Judd Wins Appeal Against Harvey Weinstein

Posted on 29 July, 2020 at 14:05

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a lower court decision dismissing Ashley Judd's sexual harassment claims against Harvey Weinstein. The case stems from Judd's claims that Weinstein lured her to a hotel room in the 1990s and made sexual advances toward her. After turning down his advances, Judd claims that Weinstein effectively blacklisted her from the film industry.

Judd filed suit for sexual harassment, retaliation and defamation. As to the sexual harassment claims, the lower court dismissed the claims on the grounds that Judd was not an employee of Harvey Weinstein and therefore could not sue for sexual harassment. The lower court reasoned that California law did not permit a harassment claim between a producer and actress who did not have an ongoing employment relationship. 

According to Variety, the appellate court found that the district court should not have dismissed the claim. The appellate court reasoned that "their relationship consisted of an inherent power imbalance wherein Weinstein was uniquely situated to exercise coercion or leverage over Judd by virtue of his professional position and influence as a top producer in Hollywood” and as such, Judd was entitled to sue for sexual harassment.

Written by: Alexandra Siskopoulos, Esq.

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