Ashley Judd sexual harassment claim against Harvey Weinstein dismissed

Judd was one of the first women in 2017 to publicly accuse Weinstein of sexual misconduct

However, Ms Judd's claim that the Oscar-winning producer "blackballed" her after she refused his advances would still be heard, Judge Gutierrez said.

In a footnote to the ruling Gutierrez said he was not determining whether Judd was sexually harassed by Weinstein "in the colloquial sense of the term". "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".

Representatives for Judd and Weinstein could not immediately be reached for comment on the ruling. Judd filed to restore the claim in October, after California's Legislature amended the state's harassment law to specifically include directors and producers.

Once of the first women to accuse him, Judd claims that in 1998, Weinstein defamed her and damaged her career by telling "Lord of the Rings" director Peter Jackson that she was a "nightmare" to work with.

Last September, a federal judge ruled that the alleged sexual misconduct claim, stemming from a 1990s hotel room incident in which Judd has accused Weinstein of physically assaulting her, did not fit the definition of workplace sexual harassment. She said Weinstein continued to "lord that traumatic event" over her and would mention their "little deal".

She further claimed that she lost out on multiple film roles because of Weinstein, including one in The Lord of the Rings franchise.

The judge said Judd had "adequately stated a claim for defamation, intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, and violation of the [Unfair Competition Law]", based on her allegation that Weinstein retaliated against her.

"The burden on Weinstein has the potential of being dramatically and unfairly negative if the stay is denied". "While we respectfully disagree with the Court's decision as to the one claim it ruled on today, we look forward to pursuing the three claims for relief that the Court has already ruled can move forward".

Mr Weinstein's lawyer, Phyllis Kupferstein, welcomed the judge's decision.

Judd appeared in "Frida", which was distributed by Weinstein's company Miramax in 2002, and starred in "Crossing Over", which was distributed by The Weinstein Company in 2009.

Weinstein is to stand trial in May in NY on five charges, including rape, involving two other women.

The disgraced Hollywood producer of movies like "Shakespeare in Love" has been accused of sexual misconduct by more than 70 women.

The former movie mogul has denied engaging in non-consensual sexual activity.

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