Ashley Judd, Mira Sorvino respond to Peter Jackson’s claims that Weinstein blacklisted them

Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino have addressed director Peter Jackson’s claims that Harvey and Bob Weinstein made an effort to blacklist the two actresses from starring in the “Lord of the Rings” franchise in the late 1990s.

In an interview with New Zealand media outlet Stuff, Jackson discussed working on the Miramax-produced “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” films with Weinstein.

“I recall Miramax telling us they were a nightmare to work with and we should avoid them at all costs. This was probably in 1998,” Jackson said.

At the time, Jackson said, he and his team had no reason to question Weinstein’s intentions.

“In hindsight, I realize that this was very likely the Miramax smear campaign in full swing,” he 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.”

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Peter Jackson out and about
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 13: Director Peter Jackson attends the launch of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, an unprecedented collaboration between the country's leading immunologists and cancer centers on April 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for Parker Media)
BEIJING, CHINA - JANUARY 19: (CHINA OUT) Director Peter Jackson attends his new film 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' press conference on January 19, 2015 in Beijing, China. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - JANUARY 20: (CHINA OUT) Director Peter Jackson attends 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' Beijing Conference on January 20, 2015 in Beijing, China. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 09: Writer/director/producer Peter Jackson attends the premiere of New Line Cinema, MGM Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures' 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' at Dolby Theatre on December 9, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 09: (L-R) Executive Vice President of New Line Cinema Carolyn Blackwood, writer/director/producer Peter Jackson and President, Distribution, Warner Bros Pictures International Veronika Kwan Vandenberg attend the premiere of New Line Cinema, MGM Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures' 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' at Dolby Theatre on December 9, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
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Sorvino said she was “heartsick” over seeing the claims. “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. Thank you Peter Jackson for being honest. I’m just heartsick,” she wrote Friday morning on Twitter. Judd responded on Thursday night, saying, “I remember this well.”

While Jackson said he had “no direct experience or knowledge of the sexual allegations” against Weinstein, he had decided earlier to never collaborate with him again. He recalled Weinstein and his brother, Bob, being difficult to work with.

“My experience, when Miramax controlled the ‘Lord of the Rings’ (before New Line took over production of the film), was of Weinstein and his brother behaving like second-rate mafia bullies. They weren’t the type of guys I wanted to work with — so I haven’t,” he said.

Jackson said Weinstein’s bullying tactics also targeted him. At one point, Jackson claimed, Weinstein threatened to fire him if he didn’t follow Weinstein’s demands to make the “LOTR” adaptation into one film rather than two. Eventually, Jackson took the films to New Line.

See photos of Ashley Judd:

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Ashley Judd out and about
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Ashley Judd out and about
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 21: Ashley Judd attends the APNE Aap dinner on September 21, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by CJ Rivera/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: Ashley Judd arrives to The Paley Center For Media's 11th Annual PaleyFest Fall TV Previews Los Angeles at The Paley Center for Media on September 16, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 25: Ashley Judd and Keke Palmer of EPIX 'Berlin Station' pose for a portrait during the 2017 Summer Television Critics Association Press Tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 25, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Smallz & Raskind/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 21: Ashley Judd speaks at the rally at the Women's March on Washington on January 21, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage)
Hollywood actress and social activist Ashley Judd looks in the Humanitarian Award 2016 at the KISS (Kalinga Institute of Social Science) in the eastern Indian city Bhubaneswar on Thursday, 09 February 2017. KISS institute give the Humanitarian Award for the year 2016 to Ashley Judd. (Photo by STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
NEW DELHI, INDIA - JANUARY 30: American actress Ashley Judd during a press conference on Sexual Exploitation of Women and Girls at India International Centre, Lodhi Estate on January 30, 2017 in New Delhi, India. (Photo by Shivam Saxena/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 21: Debi Mazar and Ashley Judd attend the rally at the Women's March on Washington on January 21, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19: Actress Ashley Judd attends the Busboys and Poets' Peace Ball: Voices of Hope and Resistance at National Museum Of African American History & Culture on January 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Busboys and Poets)
US actress Ashley Judd attends the opening of the 'Safe Birth Even Here' campaign on May 23, 2016 during the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul. Many aid groups have become 'big bureaucracies' and need help to slim down in order to help the growing number of people in need, a key EU commissioner said on May 24. A so-called 'Grand Bargain' launched at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul aims to make aid more effective by reducing the bureaucracy of aid groups and keeping down the demands of donors on them in return. / AFP / POOL / VELI G�GAH (Photo credit should read VELI GURGAH/AFP/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 27: Actress Ashley Judd attends The Creative Coalition's Benefit Gala Featuring Fergie at The Electric Factory on July 27, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - MARCH 11: Actress Ashley Judd watches the Kentucky Wildcats during the first half of an SEC Tournament Quarterfinal game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bridgestone Arena on March 11, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES - 2016/03/15: Ashley Judd speaks with the press. Ashley Judd and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin spoke at a press briefing regarding Ms. Judd's appointment as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNFPA. (Photo by Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 27: Actress Ashley Judd and Executive Director of UNFPA, Babatunde Osotimehin attend the 2015 Social Good Summit at 92Y on September 27, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Mireya Acierto/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 26: (L-R) Ashley Judd, Ambassador, Population Services International attends the Breakout Session: The Economic Implications of Gender-Based Violence during the first day of the 2015 Clinton Global Initiative's Annual Meeting at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers on September 26, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 24: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Actress Ashley Judd attends a photocall for 'Big Stone Gap' at Ace Hotel on September 24, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 24: Ashley Judd and Jenna Elfman attend the 'Big Stone Gap' New York Screening at Sunshine Landmark on September 24, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Zak Photography/Getty Images)
Ashley Judd attends the '2015 CFDA Fashion Awards' red carpet arrivals at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City. ?? LAN (Photo by Lars Niki/Corbis via Getty Images)
Samantha Power, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, left, and actress Ashley Judd, center, attend the Bloomberg Vanity Fair White House Correspondents' Association (WHCA) dinner afterparty in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Saturday, April 25, 2015. The 101st WHCA raises money for scholarships and honors the recipients of the organization's journalism awards. Photographer: Drew Angerer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 25: Actress Ashley Judd attends the 101st Annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner at the Washington Hilton on April 25, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kris Connor/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 14: Ashley Judd attends the 2015 Moves Power Forum at Red Door Spa on April 14, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)
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“Although his name had to be on the ‘Lord of the Rings’ credits for contractual reasons, he was not involved in the movies we ended up making,” Jackson said. “I vaguely remember bumping into him (Weinstein) at some award show or premiere at the time of their release, but it’s been 20 years since my last interaction of any substance with Harvey Weinstein.”

Judd and Sorvino were among the first to publicly come forward with allegations of sexual harassment against Weinstein back in October.

Weinstein’s spokesperson released the following statement.

Mr. Weinstein has nothing but the utmost respect for Peter Jackson. However, as Mr. Jackson will probably remember, because Disney would not finance the “Lord of the Rings,” Miramax lost the project and all casting was done by New Line.

While Bob and Harvey Weinstein were executive producers of the film, they had no input into the casting whatsoever.

Secondly, until Ashley Judd wrote a piece for Variety two years ago, no one at the Company knew that she had a complaint and she was cast in two other films by Mr. Weinstein [“Frida” and “Crossing Over”] and Mira Sorvino was always considered for other films as well.

Women who have accused Harvey Weinstein:

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Women who have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment or assault
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Women who have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment or assault
Kadian Noble, has filed a lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein in New York federal court accusing the movie producer of sex trafficking by inviting her to a hotel room in France and sexually assaulting her.
Paz de la Huerta, who stars on HBO's 'Boardwalk Empire,' claims Harvey Weinstein raped her on two separate occasions in 2010: "I was in no state. I was so terrified of him," she told Vanity Fair. "I did say no, and when he was on top of me, I said, 'I don't want to do this' ... It was disgusting. He's like a pig."
British actress Lysette Anthony has publicly accused Harvey Weinstein of raping her in her home in the late 1980s.
Amber Anderson said Harvey Weinstein 'behaved inappropriately' and bragged about other actresses he had 'helped' in exchange for sexual favors.
Natassia Malthe has accused Weinstein of raping her in a hotel room. On a separate occasion, after she was assured that Weinstein would not come onto her, she was allegedly escorted to Weinstein's hotel room by an assistant. In the room was another woman, who performed oral sex on Weinstein whil he asked Malthe to join.
Lupita Nyong'o wrote a detailed essay for the New York Times recounting multiple incidents with Weinstein, including an evening during which he asked her to give him a nude massage while his family was in the same home.
Marisa Coughlan said that she planned to meet Weinstein for a meeting at his hotel. Instead, he requested a massage.

Heather Graham said Weinstein told her he had an agreement with his wife that allowed him to sleep with whomever he wants. He then asked him to meet her to discuss a film project at his hotel, falsely telling her that her friend would also be present. She declined.

French actress Judith Godreche has accused Weinstein of inappropriately pressing up against her, trying to remove her sweater and asking for a massage.

Lauren Holly said that during a seemingly normal meeting with Weinstein to discuss a project, he began disrobing, got into the shower, and went to the bathroom while continuing to converse with her. He then allegedly asked her for a massage. She fled. 
Angie Everhart said that she was sleeping in her own cabin on a yacht when Harvey Weinstein entered, blocked the door and began masturbating. He told her not to tell anyone, but she "told everyone," including many actors and producers. In response, most told her that it was just Harvey being Harvey. In an interview with TMZ, she emphasized that anyone in the industry who knew Harvey at all knew that he regularly did things like what he allegedly did to her.
Kate Beckinsale has accused Harvey Weinstein of coming onto her in his hotel room when she was 17 years old.
Tara Subkoff said that in the 1990s, on the same day that she was offered a major movie role, she met Harvey Weinstein at a party. He allegedly made her sit on his lap while he had an erection. He then told her that if he did not do certain sexual things, she would not get the role that she'd already been offered. She declined. Afterward, she said, her "reputation was ruined by false gossip" and she found it near impossible to book roles.
Minka Kelly said that Harvey Weinstein offered her a lavish lifestyle in exchange for being his extramarital girlfriend. She declined.
Gwyneth Paltrow told the New York Times that Harvey Weinstein asked her for a massage in his hotel suite. After she told then-boyfriend Brad Pitt, Pitt confronted him, leading Weinstein to contact Paltrow and "scream" at her, she said.
Asia Argento has accused Weinstein of raping her in his hotel room when she was 21. She first reluctantly agreed to give him a massage, and then he forcibly performed oral sex on her. During subsequent encounters, she had consensual sexual relations with him due to fear that he would otherwise ruin her career.
Rose McGowan has publicly accused Harvey Weinstein of rape. In October 2016, she tweeted reference to a studio head raping her. In October 2017, in a tweet to Amazon chief Jeff Bezos, McGowan referred to Weinstein by name while repeating her rape accusation. The alleged incident took place in the 1990s and resulted in a financial settlement.
Cara Delevingne has accused Harvey Weinstein of attempting to coerce her into kissing another woman in his hotel room. She had just begun her acting career and believed they were meeting just to finalize talks for a film role.
Angelina Jolie said she had a "bad experience with Harvey Weinstein in my youth" and refused to work with him subsequently.
Jessica Barth has accused Harvey Weinstein of demanding that she get naked and give him a massage.
Emma de Caunes has accused Harvey Weinstein of unexpectedly getting naked and demanding that she lie down as other women had supposedly done before her.
Lauren Sivan has accused Harvey Weinstein of cornering her in a public space and masturbating to completion in front of her.
Mira Sorvino, seen here at a Weinstein Co. event in January 2017, said that after refusing Harvey Weinstein's advances, he dissuaded others in the industry from hiring her.
Ambra Battilana has accused Harvey Weinstein of groping her breasts and reaching under her skirt. She went to the NYPD and then conducted a sting operation, the audio of which was published by the New Yorker. In the audio, Weinstein can be heard attempting to coerce her to enter his hotel room.
Louisette Geiss has accused Harvey Weinstein of luring her to his hotel room after assuring her he wouldn't hit on her. He then disrobed and repeatedly asked her to watch him masturbate, telling her he would produce her screenplay if she did.
Emily Nestor (far right), a former Weinstein Co. employee, has accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment.
Rosanna Arquette has accused Harvey Weinstein of dissuading others from hiring her after she rejected his sexual advances.
Rose McGowan has publicly accused Weinstein of sexual harassment. She has also accused others in the industry of knowing of Weinstein's misconduct and either actively or passively hiding it.
Ashley Judd has publicly accused Harvey Weinstein of asking her for a massage and then asking her to watch him shower.
Florence Darel has accused Harvey Weinstein of coming onto her in a hotel suite in 1996 while his wife was in the room next door.
Zoe Brock (left, in 2004) has accused Weinstein of getting naked and chasing her around a hotel room after she refused to give him a massage.
Katherine Kendall (right, in 2006) has accused Harvey Weinstein of disrobing and asking for a massage in his apartment after a movie screening, telling her that "everybody does it." He then asked her to at least show him her breasts, which she refused.
Romola Garai has accused Harvey Weinstein of making her feel "violated" when he watched her audition wearing only a bathrobe in his hotel room.
Lea Seydoux has accused Harvey Weinstein of forcibly trying to kiss her on the lips in 2012.
Claire Forlani said she "escaped" Harvey Weinstein on five occasions. He allegedly told her about all the actresses he had slept with and how he had in turn established their careers. He also attempted to get her to give him a massage.
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There was no indication that Mira Sorvino had any issues until Mr. Weinstein read about the complaints in the news.

As recently as this year, Mira Sorvino called Mr. Weinstein and asked if her husband could be part of the SEAL television series [“Six”] he was producing and Mr. Weinstein cast him; when Christopher Backus received a better offer, Mr. Weinstein allowed him to amicably break his contact to pursue the opportunity.

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