As the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault saga continues, director Peter Jackson has come forward to confirm that the disgraced Hollywood heavyweight blackballed Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino from “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy.
Apparently, there was some manipulation going on during the development stages when Miramax was involved to keep Judd and Sorvino out of the film.
“I recall Miramax telling us [Judd and Sorvino] were a nightmare to work with and we should avoid them at all costs. This was probably in 1998. At the time, we had no reason to question what these guys were telling us,” Jackson recounted.
He continued: “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.”
Jackson also claims he had “no direct experience or knowledge” of Weinstein’s alleged misconduct back then.
Judd and Sorvino are two of Weinstein’s several accusers who have spoken out about his misconduct and were both involved in The New York Times and The New Yorker investigations that finally exposed him, Vulture reports.
After Jackson’s comments were published, Judd and Sorvino each responded on Twitter.
Sorvino wrote: “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.”
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
Judd said, “I remember this well.”
I remember this well. https://t.co/wctEhESAS9— ashley judd (@AshleyJudd) December 15, 2017
New Line Cinema eventually took over “The Lord of the Rings” production after Weinstein reportedly threatened to fire Jackson as director if he didn’t compact the entire trilogy into one film.
Due to the drama that ensued over the films, Jackson said he doesn’t have the fondest memories of Weinstein and his brother, Bob.
“My experience, when Miramax controlled ‘The Lord of the Rings’ was of Weinstein and his brother [Bob] behaving like second-rate Mafia bullies. They weren’t the type of guys I wanted to work with — so I haven’t.”
He added, “Movie making is much more fun when you work with nice people.”
The insight that Weinstein acted much like a bully, in general, gives more credence to the allegations that he used his power as a tool to silence his assault victims.
Several of the women Weinstein hurt, including television anchor Lauren Sivan, expressed that they were afraid to speak out against him, initially, because of what might happen to their careers. It would have been their word against that of a man regarded as industry royalty.
However, if these women had known the large scope of which Weinstein was committing these sickening acts, they likely would have banded together to expose him years ago.
Jackson's recollection about how things unfolded with "The Lord of the Rings" sheds light on exactly how Weinstein threw his weight around in Hollywood, thus keeping his disgusting little secret safe for decades.
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Mira Sorvino Image Credit: Reuters, Fred Prouser
Ashley Judd Image Credit: Reuters, Patrick Fallon