In her first TV interview since the Weinstein scandal exploded, through tears, the actress told ABC News’ Diane Sawyer that the outpouring of more than 60 women revealing troubling experiences — including allegations of rape — with the producer has made for an “absolutely, tremendously moving two and a half weeks.”
In the interview segment that first aired Thursday on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Judd said she wished she had a “magic wand” that would allow her to change the past, for her and others. “I wish I could prevent it for anyone, always.”
Judd says, at the time, she did tell her parents and other people in Hollywood, including agents and actors, about her hotel encounter with Weinstein. But, as a little-known actress accusing a powerful entertainment industry figure in a different era, she didn’t know that she would have been believed.
“Who was I to tell?” she said. “I knew it was disgusting. Was I going to tell the concierge who sent me up to the room?”
Judd recounted the details of the incident with Weinstein, alleging that the producer lured her to a hotel room and then pressed her for massages and a sexual encounter. She thought she would meet him at the hotel in a public area. Judd also recalled what was going through her mind at that moment, and how she escaped Weinstein’s hotel room. After the encounter, she felt a sense of shame for being roped into Weinstein’s hotel room, but now, looking back, Judd says the most important thing is that she got out.
“It’s a very important word — shame — and it’s a very important thing to talk about,” Judd said. “We all do the best we can, and our best is good enough. And it’s really okay to have responded however we responded.”
Before she met with Weinstein, Judd said “I had no warning” of his reputation for aggressive sexual overtures, noting her upbringing in Kentucky as the daughter of country superstar Naomi Judd. But she soon learned otherwise. “That’s his pattern of sexual predation. That’s how he rolled,” Judd said.
Sawyer held up a photo of Judd and Weinstein at an Oscar party in the 1990s, not long after the incident in the hotel. Judd is smiling in the picture. Sawyer noted that ABC News obtained the photo from Weinstein’s team, who says the image proves that he and Judd were on friendly terms after the incident.
“No,” Judd responded to Weinstein’s claim that they were friends. “That’s deny, attack, reverse the order of offender and victim.”
In another photo from that same Oscar party, Weinstein is pictured holding Judd’s hand, though in that image, her face expresses discomfort.
“I hoped I didn’t pass him, but I did, and he obviously grabbed my hand,” Judd recalled of the moment that photo was taken in the ’90s. “The look on my face is abject terror. I can see it in my eyes…It’s very gross. It’s very gross. I feel for that 28- or 29-year-old woman.”
Watch part of Ashley Judd’s interview with ABC News here: