Peter Jackson has broken his silence on the sexual harassment and abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein. The Oscar-winning director revealed to the New Zealand news publication Stuff that he removed Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino’s names from “The Lord of the Rings” casting list after a meeting with Weinstein.
Jackson was pitching his idea for the J. R. R. Tolkien adaptation to Miramax in 1998 and met with Bob and Harvey Weinstein, who told him both Sorvino and Judd were “a nightmare to work with.”
“I recall Miramax telling us they were a nightmare to work with and we should avoid them at all costs,” Jackson said. “This was probably in 1998. At the time, we had no reason to question what these guys were telling us — but in hindsight, I realize that this was very likely the Miramax smear campaign in full swing. 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.”
Judd and Sorvino are two of the over 90 women who have accused Weinstein of sexual harassment. Many of the allegations claim Weinstein threatened the careers of the actresses who refused to give in to his demands. Sorvino responded on Twitter to Jackson’s revelation by saying the news was a “confirmation” that Weinstein purposely derailed her career. Judd posted on Twitter saying that she “remembered this well.”
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 https://t.co/ljK9NqICbm
— Mira Sorvino (@MiraSorvino) December 15, 2017
I remember this well. https://t.co/wctEhESAS9
— ashley judd (@AshleyJudd) December 15, 2017
Harvey Weinstein ended up having an executive producer credit on “The Lord of the Rings” movies, but Jackson told Stuff that the reason was contractual and that Weinstein had nothing to do with any of the production. Jackson ended up choosing New Line to produce the film.