A shocking accusation has emerged against film producer Harvey Weinstein, as Ashley Judd allegedly makes claims that she was sexually harassed by him twenty years ago. A handful of other woman, from temporary employees to former assistants, have also come forward with similar allegations.
In an interview with the New York Times, Ashley Judd spoke of an incident at a Beverly Hills hotel where she was invited up to his room and subsequently offered a massage by him as he stood in a bath robe. She also claims that he suggested she watch him shower.
'How do I get out of the room as fast as possible without alienating Harvey Weinstein?' She told the publication of what she was thinking at the time. 'I said no, a lot of ways, a lot of times, and he always came back at me with some new ask. It was all this bargaining, this coercive bargaining.'
'Women have been talking about Harvey amongst ourselves for a long time, and it's simply beyond time to have the conversation publicly', she added.
Weinstein has since responded to Ashley's claims, as well as those of other women. 'I came of age in the 60s and 70s, when all the rules about behaviour and workplaces were different. That was the culture then', he said in a statement. 'I have since learned it's not an excuse, in the office - or out of it. To anyone. I realized some time ago that I needed to be a better person and my interactions with the people I work with have changed. I appreciate the way I've behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it.'
However, he has denied that he ever made sexual advances towards the young actress and has gone on to sue the Times for its 'reckless reporting' of the story regarding his workplace conduct. 'They told me lies. They made assumptions', he told PageSix. 'I never laid a glove on [Ashley]. I know Ashley Judd is going through a tough time right now, I read her book, in which she talks about being the victim of sexual abuse and depression as a child. Her life story was brutal, and I have to respect her. In a year from now, I am going to reach out to her.'
Indeed, Ashley does lose credibility with the fact that she claimed she never worked with Weinsten after shooting the movie 'Kiss The Girls', however she did go on to work with him on 2002's 'Frida' and 2009's 'Crossing Over'. The actress is yet to comment on Weinstein's response to her accusations.