Ashley Judd has spoken out further about her sexual harassment claims against Harvey Weinstein, revealing that she offered to have sex with him in order to escape what she felt like was a dangerous situation.
Judd gave an exclusive interview to ABC News, telling Diane Sawyer about a meeting she had with Weinstein in the late 1990s, before she was aware of his reputation as a sexual predator.
The then-rising actress said she had a meeting with Weinstein at a hotel to discuss possible projects with the mega-producer. But she didn’t realize he was planning for the meeting to be very private.
“I had no warning … I remember the lurch when I went to the desk and I said, ‘Mr. Weinstein, is he on the patio?’ and they said, ‘No, he’s in his room.
I was like, ‘Ugh, are you kidding me?’ [But I went because] I had a business appointment. That’s his pattern of sexual predation. That’s how he rolled.”
Judd describes a now-familiar scene of being alone with Weinstein in his hotel room. At one point he asked her to help him pick out a suit to wear, and offered to give her a massage — before asking that she give him one. He also asked her to come with him into the hotel bathroom.
“There’s this constant grooming negotiation going on,” Judd said.
“I thought ‘no’ meant ‘no,” …. “I fought with this volley of ‘nos,’ which he ignored. Who knows? Maybe he heard them as ‘maybe,’ maybe he heard them as ‘yeses,’ maybe they turned him on. I don’t know.”
Eventually, Judd decided she would try to appease the mega-producer as a way of escaping the terrifying situation. She told him she would consider a sexual encounter with him in the future.
“He kept coming at me with all this other stuff, and finally I just said, ‘When I win an Oscar in one of your movies, okay?’” Judd said. “And he was like, ‘Yeah, when you get nominated.’ And I said, ‘No! When I win an Oscar.’ And I fled. I just fled.”
And though Judd says she has often felt some shame about the bargain she offered, she still believes she made the right choice — and avoided a potentially violent outcome.
“The part of me that understands the way shame works says, ‘That was absolutely brilliant. Good job, kid. You got out of there. Well done.’”
[Feature image: Associated Press]