Peter Jackson says Harvey Weinstein pressured him to blacklist Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino

The Lord of the Rings director says he was told not to cast the two actors

Peter Jackson has admitted that he blacklisted actors Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino after they fell victim to an alleged “smear campaign” created by Harvey Weinstein.

Weinstein has been at the centre of a criminal investigation since late October, after an extensive outpouring of allegations including rape and sexual assault from scores of women in both America and the UK. He “unequivocally denies” any allegations of non-consensual sex.

Sorvino and Judd have both come forward about their experiences with Weinstein, claiming that they refused Weinstein’s pressure to have physical relationships. Sorvino has also said she felt “iced out” of the industry after rejecting his advances.

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Ashley Judd says she remembers the incident well Credit: Getty

Now, Jackson seems to have confirmed her suspicions. “I recall Miramax telling us they were a nightmare to work with and we should avoid them at all costs,” Jackson said. Weinstein ran Miramax with his brother Bob.

Jackson says that it was through this action taken by Miramax that both women lost out on parts in his Lord of the Rings series.

“At the time, we had no reason to question what these guys were telling us. 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.”

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Mira Sorvino ‘burst into tears’ upon reading Jackson’s revelations Credit: Getty

Both actors tweeted about Jackson’s revelations. Sorvino wrote: “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.”

Judd wrote, “I remember this well,” later adding, “Peter & Fran had me in – showed me all the creative, the boards, costumes, everything. They asked which if the two roles I preferred, and then I abruptly never heard from hem again. I appreciate the truth coming out. Thank you, Peter.”

You can see the tweets below.

The Lord of the Rings series later moved from Miramax to New Line Cinema for production.

Meanwhile, Salma Hayek has opened up about the alleged sexual harassment she suffered at the hands of Weinstein, revealing that at one point he threatened to kill her.

Mexican-born star Hayek worked with Weinstein on 2002 Frida Kahlo biopic Frida and details the harrowing experience in an op-ed for The New York Times.

Hayek explains that she was first introduced to Weinstein by director Robert Rodriguez and producer Elizabeth Avellan and says that “knowing what I know now, I wonder if it wasn’t my friendship with them — and Quentin Tarantino and George Clooney — that saved me from being raped”.

She says she approached Weinstein about working on Frida for Miramax and “he had said yes.” Hayek then adds: “Little did I know it would become my turn to say no.” Weinstein’s harassment, Hayek says, ranged from him asking to her to take a shower to him to offers of massages and oral sex.

  • For help, advice or more information regarding sexual harassment, assault and rape in the UK, visit the Rape Crisis charity website. In the US, visit RAINN.