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Harvey Weinstein is requesting that a lawsuit by actress Ashley Judd be dismissed on the grounds that the two had a “bargain” that he could touch her if she won an Academy Award for one of his films, according to a court filing.
Judd brought the lawsuit against Weinstein in April 2018 accusing him of sexual harassment and claiming Weinstein had harmed her career after she rejected his sexual advances.
Weinstein’s lawyers claimed in a federal court filing on Wednesday that Judd’s lawsuit was “baseless” and doesn’t fall within the statute of limitations, USA Today reported.
Weinstein allegedly offered to give Judd a massage and asked her if she would watch him shower in his Beverly Hills hotel room more than 20 years ago, according to USA Today.
Judd escaped the situation by agreeing to a “mock” bargain where she “would consider letting him touch her only if she won an Academy Award in one of his films,” she told ABC News.
“According to plaintiff, Weinstein then attempted to live up to his part of the bargain by trying to cast plaintiff in as many roles as possible that could earn her an Academy Award,” the Wednesday filing read, according USA Today.
The filing also claims that her allegations against Weinstein don’t fit the criterion of “unwelcome and pervasive or severe” under the law, reported USA Today.
However, under California state regulations, “verbal conduct: making or using derogatory comments, epithets, slurs and jokes” and “offering employment benefits in exchange for sexual favors” fall under sexual harassment.
Judd’s attorney Theodore Boutrous Jr. gave a statement to ABC News.
“Mr. Weinstein’s arguments seeking to escape the consequences of his despicable misconduct are not only baseless, they are offensive,” he said.
“We look forward to opposing his flawed motion, moving forward with discovery into his outrageous behavior, and proving to a jury that Mr. Weinstein maliciously damaged Ms. Judd’s career because she resisted his sexual advances.”
[Photo: Ashley Judd speaks at the UN Headquarters in New York in March 2016. By Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images]