Actress Ashley Judd was one of the first women to go on record for The New York Times about the alleged sexual harassment she faced from now-disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein.
She went into further detail about her experiences with Weinstein in a Thursday interview on “Good Morning America.”
Similar to stories from other actresses, Judd recounted how she was called to the film mogul’s hotel suite as a young actress for what she thought was a business meeting. Weinstein asked her for a massage, which she refused. He then offered to give her one.
Judd said she began surveying the room and plotting an escape, as the producer was not taking no for an answer.
“I thought ‘no’ meant no,” she said. “I fought with this volley of no’s.”
What finally got her out of the room, she revealed, was a “deal” she concocted that the producer fell for.
She said she would sleep with Weinstein when she won an Oscar in a film produced by him.
“When you get nominated,” Weinstein counteroffered, according to Judd.
“And I said, ‘No. When I win an Oscar.’ And then I just fled,” she added. Judd said she has mixed feelings now about how she handled the situation.
“Am I proud of that? The part that shames myself says, ‘no.’ The part of me that understands the way shame works says, ‘That was absolutely brilliant. Good job, kid, you got out of there. Well done!'”
Two years after the “deal” was made, Judd said she saw Weinstein again at a dinner. The difference was she was now an actress with some clout in the industry — and not as desperate as before.
The actress said Weinstein brought up “that little agreement we made” and said he was looking for material for her to star in.
After a moment he then said, “You know, Ashley, I’m going to let you out of that little agreement that we made.”
Judd said her response was a dismissive one the producer was not used to getting. “I had come into my own, I had come into my power, I had found my voice. And I said, ‘You do that, Harvey. You do that.'”
She added, “And he has spat my name at me ever since.”
Judd is just one of dozens of women to come forward with stories of alleged assault or harassment at the hands of Weinstein. Another actress to recently come forward was Natassia Malthe, who claims Weinstein raped her.
In a Wednesday press conference in New York City, Malthe detailed the alleged abuse.
The alleged incident occurred after the BAFTA Awards in 2008. Malthe was awoken in the middle of the night by a loud and consistent knocking at her door.
“I was startled and awakened by repeated pounding on my door in the middle of the night accompanied with Harvey Weinstein yelling ‘Open the door, Natassia Malthe, it’s Harvey Weinstein,'” the actress said during the press conference, according to the Daily Mail. “I was mortified and humiliated. There were many industry people staying at the hotel. I was worried that everyone would wake up and think that I was sleeping with him.”
After the producer was let in, he forced himself onto Malthe and she said she “disassociated” during the experience. “It was not consensual,” she said.
The producer later offered her a part in the movie “Nine,” but when she refused to sleep with him later at the Peninsula Hotel in Los Angeles, she was dropped from consideration for the movie.
Malthe left the country afterwards. She has since starred in independently produced films, mostly shot overseas.
“I was very reluctant to come forward today. It scares me in some ways,” Malthe said during the press conference. “However, my closest friends encouraged me to do so. I am also doing it for my three-year[-old] little boy, so he understands how to respect and treat women and for countless little girls that should never experience what I went through, and for all the women that came before me and after me trying to succeed in Hollywood.”
Authorities in Los Angeles and New York City are both looking into multiple accusations of rape against Weinstein. The producer reportedly was seeking treatment recently for “sex addiction” at an Arizona rehab center.
At this point, if Weinstein is allowed to work again as a producer within the industry and escapes real criminal investigations and possible jail time, then all of this will have been for nothing. It was obvious before Judd and Malthe’s accounts of their experiences that the power structure in Hollywood needed to change. Now there should be no doubt that the first step to that change is Weinstein’s leaving the business and being treated by the authorities like any other person accused of such serious and despicable crimes.