Harvey Weinstein Allegedly Led 'Smear Campaign' Against Mira Sorvino and Ashley Judd


Harvey Weinstein on Friday denied barring actresses Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino from working on the movie adaptation of "The Lord of the Rings" or blacklisting them from further projects.

"Just seeing this after I awoke, I burst out crying", Sorvino wrote on Twitter, linking to the interview. She says it is confirmation that Weinstein derailed her career.

Weinstein is the central figure of the Hollywood sexual harassment scandal, in which dozens of actresses have accused him of misconduct. The film originally was slated to be a Miramax picture, but Jackson and Weinstein had a falling out over the number of installments Jackson meant to make, so he took his project to New Line.

"At the time, we had no reason to question what these guys were telling us..."

This type of comment is not unusual - it can happen with any studio on any film, when different actor's names come up in conversation - but once you hear negative feedback about somebody, you don't forget it.

Now, Peter Jackson fills in the gaps. "This was probably in 1998", Jackson said in the article, referring to when he was pitching his ideas for the "Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" trilogies.

In it, author Ronan Farrow said: 'Four actresses, including Mira Sorvino and Rosanna Arquette, told me they suspected that, after they rejected Weinstein's advances or complained about them to company representatives, Weinstein had them removed from projects or dissuaded people from hiring them'.

She went on to claim her career was affected by the Weinstein snub, adding, "I won an Oscar with Miramax".

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"Mr. Weinstein denies speaking with Terry regarding casting".

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

Sorvino said Weinstein had confronted her in 1995 in a hotel room and that he "chased" her "around" while trying to get her to have sex with him. "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".

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 persue the opportunity.

This year Sorvino opened up to The New Yorker in October about her Weinstein experience.

'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.

He claims Weinstein wanted just one and, to make him fall in line, gave Jackson and his wife Fran a month to find another studio who would agree to their way of things.