Weinstein denies blacklisting actresses Ashley Judd, Mira Sorvino

Peter Castro
December 17, 2017

In an interview with New Zealand website Stuff on Thursday, Jackson said he expressed interest in casting Judd and Sorvino in the movie while pitching the project to Weinstein's production company Miramax. After this meeting we were told by Miramax to steer clear of both Ashley and Mira, because they claimed to have had "bad experiences" with these particular actresses in the past. "This was probably in 1998", he told the site.

Jackson said, "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".

Jackson worked with Weinstein and his brother Bob early in the development of "The Lord of the Rings", saying the pair acted like "second-rate Mafia bullies".

Jackson has now responded to Weinstein's denial in an exclusive statement to Deadline. Miramax backed the "Lord of the Ring" franchise before New Line took over the series.

Judd and Sorvino have both publicly claimed Weinstein sexual harassed them, and they both missed out on roles in Jackson's Lord of the Rings films because of what the brothers had said about them.

Judd was among the first wave of women to expose Weinstein as an alleged serial predator in a New York Times article published back in October. Weeks later, Weinstein called her after midnight and showed up at her apartment unexpectedly. "Movie-making is much more fun when you work with nice people".

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There may have been other factors, but I definitely felt iced out and that my rejection of Harvey had something to do with it.
"I was not offered any movie roles past 1996".

Jackson's own comments to stuff.co.nz echoed this.

In an emotional tweet Sorvino said "just seeing this after I awoke, I burst out crying". "There it is, confirmation that Harvey Weinstein derailed my career, something I suspected but was unsure".

"The Miramax smear campaign [was] in full swing", Peter Jackson said. He adds, "The movies changed hands from Miramax to New Line before casting actually got underway, but because we had been warned off Ashley and Mira by Miramax, and we were naive enough to assume we'd been told the truth, Fran and I did not raise their names in New Line casting conversations".

Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Cara Delevingne have also made allegations of harassment and assault against Weinstein.

Weinstein cast Judd in two subsequent films - "Frida" (2002) and "Crossing Over" (2009) - and Sorvino was also considered for other films, the spokesman added. There was no indication that Mira Sorvino had any issues until Mr. Weinstein read about the complaints in the news.

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