Ashley Judd was one of the first people to go on record detailing Harvey Weinstein’s alleged history of abuse and harassment against women — later saying that she spoke publicly because “it was the right thing to do” — and now, with Weinstein arrested in New York on rape charges, she believes this will be more than just a significant cultural moment. In fact, it may change history. “That Harvey Weinstein, a powerful man who thrived and flourished as he shattered and abused women in a culture of impunity was arrested and charged is resoundingly significant. It is a watershed event, an irreversible pivot away from tacit and explicit license to exploit to clarity about unacceptable behavior no longer being tolerated,” she wrote. “Today, these images of Harvey in handcuffs are possible because of the voices, backbone, & determination, in spite of the unknown & retaliation, demonstrated by survivors & the journalists who reported our stories.”
In addition to speaking out against Weinstein’s disturbing behavioral track record, Judd is also in the process of suing him for defamation, harassment, and “intentional interference with prospective economic advantage.” The last claim refers to Weinstein allegedly blocking Judd and Mira Sorvino’s chances at obtaining roles in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which was revealed to the public last year thanks to director Peter Jackson, who admitted he was strongly advised not to hire the women. “I recall Miramax telling us they were a nightmare to work with and we should avoid them at all costs,” Jackson explained at the time. “But in hindsight, I realize that this was very likely the Miramax smear campaign in full swing. I now suspect we were fed false information about both of these talented women and as a direct result their names were removed from our casting list.” The monetary amount Judd is seeking in damages isn’t clear.