A federal judge has dismissed a part of Ashley Judd’s sexual harassment and defamation lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein. According to NBC News, on Wednesday, US District Judge Philip Gutierrez again ruled that the sexual harassment part of Judd’s suit could not be upheld under California law. The judge, who previously threw out the sexual harassment claim in Judd’s suit in September, said the actress could continue with her defamation claim.
In the September ruling, Judge Gutierrez said that the working relationship between Weinstein and Judd did not meet the state’s legal standard. After the California legislature revised the law, “specifically adding film directors and producers to the categories of people who can be liable under the measure,” according to NBC, Judd refiled. Judge Gutierrez said the revised law has significant changes, but cannot be applied retroactively.
“The Court makes clear that it is not determining whether Plaintiff was sexually harassed in the colloquial sense of the term,” Gutierrez wrote in his decision. “The only question presented by the current motion is whether the harassment that Plaintiff allegedly suffered falls within the scope of the California statute that she has sued under.”
Judd was one of the first actresses to go on record about Harvey Weinstein’s alleged decades-long history of sexually harassing and assaulting women in the industry. Judd’s suit against Weinstein, filed in April 2017, includes a claim of “intentional interference with prospective economic advantage,” based on reporting that Weinstein advised Peter Jackson to not hire Judd or another Weinstein accuser, Mira Sorvino.
Weinstein’s attorney Phyllis Kupferstein said his legal team was pleased with Judge Gutierrez’s ruling: “We believe that we will ultimately prevail on her remaining claims,” she said. Weinstein has continued to deny all allegations of sexual misconduct.