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Judge Again Dismisses Ashley Judd’s Harassment Claim Against Harvey Weinstein

For the second time, a Los Angeles federal judge has dismissed Ashley Judd’s claim that Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed her during a hotel room meeting in the mid-1990s.

Judd was one of the first to speak out against Weinstein on the record, helping to popularize the #MeToo movement. She alleged that Weinstein tried to get her to give him a massage and invited her to watch him take a shower. In April, she filed a lawsuit alleging that Weinstein had damaged her career in retaliation for her refusal.

Judge Philip Gutierrez ruled in September that Judd could not claim sexual harassment because she did not have a professional relationship with Weinstein at the time. Gutierrez allowed Judd to proceed with her claims for defamation and retaliation.

Gutierrez also allowed Judd to amend her complaint to try to salvage the sexual harassment claim. Since then, the California Legislature has amended the sexual harassment law to explicitly include directors and producers among professionals covered by the law.

Judd’s attorneys argued that the legislative amendment should apply retroactively, allowing Judd’s sexual harassment claim to proceed. But in a 13-page ruling on Wednesday, Gutierrez held that the new law does not apply to Judd’s case. The judge rejected the harassment claim with prejudice, meaning it cannot be revived. The remainder of the case will go forward.

On Monday, Weinstein’s attorneys asked the court to put the case on hold pending the outcome of his criminal case. Weinstein’s attorneys argue that he will have to plead the 5th Amendment if he is deposed, and therefore will be unable to defend himself. His attorneys have made similar requests in several other civil cases.

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