REUTERS

Weinstein Denies Blacklisting Actresses Ashley Judd, Mira Sorvino

"I now suspect we were fed false information about both of these talented women," said director Peter Jackson.

(Reuters) — Harvey Weinstein on Friday denied barring actresses Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino from working on the movie adaptation of "The Lord of the Rings" or blacklisting them from further projects.


Weinstein, who has been accused of sexual harassment by more than 50 women, including Judd and Sorvino, was responding to remarks by "Lord of the Rings" director Peter Jackson.

Reuters is unable to independently confirm the misconduct allegations and Weinstein has denied having non-consensual sex with anyone.

In an interview with New Zealand website Stuff on Thursday, Jackson said he expressed interest in casting Judd and Sorvino in the movie while pitching the project to Weinstein's production company Miramax.

"I recall Miramax telling us they were a nightmare to work with and we should avoid them at all costs. This was probably in 1998," Jackson said.

"At the time, we had no reason to question what these guys were telling us... 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," he added.

The "Lord of the Rings" movie trilogy later went to New Line Cinema and released in 2001.

Weinstein's spokeswoman Holly Baird said in a statement that Harvey and his bother Bob "had no input into the casting whatsoever" on "Lord of the Rings."

The statement said that Judd was subsequently cast by Weinstein in two other movies — "Frida" and "Crossing Over."

It added that Sorvino called Weinstein earlier this year to ask if her husband, actor Christopher Backus, could be cast in the TV series "Six" that he was producing "and Mr. Weinstein cast him."

Judd, responding on Twitter on Friday, recalled having detailed talks with Jackson about "Lord of the Rings" but "then I abruptly never heard from him again."

Sorvino said on Twitter that she "burst out crying" when she read Jackson's remarks, calling them "confirmation that Harvey Weinstein derailed my career, something I suspected but was unsure."

Representatives for the two actresses did not respond on Friday to a request for further comment.

Read more news @ DiversityInc.com

REUTERS

Senate Panel To Hold Hearing On Sexual Abuse Of Olympic Athletes

The scandal prompted the entire board of directors at USA Gymnastics and the president and athletic director of Michigan State University to resign. It also spawned lawsuits and criminal and civil investigations.

(Reuters) — The U.S. Senate will hold a hearing next week into how the U.S. Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics and other sports organizations handled sexual misconduct allegations.

Read More Show Less
REUTERS

Actors' Union Calls for End to Meetings in Private Hotel Rooms

SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris said in a statement posted on the union's website, "We are committed to addressing the scenario that has allowed predators to exploit performers behind closed doors under the guise of a professional meeting."

(Reuters) — The United States' largest actors' union on Thursday called for an end to auditions and professional meetings in private hotel rooms and residences to protect its members from "potential harassment or exploitation."

Read More Show Less

Pro-Trump TV Host Threatens to Sexually Assault a Parkland Survivor, Show Cancelled

Advertisers began to boycott Jamie Allman's show, which airs on a Sinclair Broadcast Group station, after he posted a vile tweet directed at David Hogg.

Jamie Allman, a pro-Trump, conservative TV pundit in St. Louis, Mo., is no longer on the air. Allman made a vile post on Twitter about sexually abusing Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg, causing advertisers to begin boycotting his show.

Read More Show Less
REUTERS

Court Approves Procedures for Auctioning Weinstein Co.

When the allegations against Harvey Weinstein became public in October, the company's board fired him, and Hollywood heavyweights distanced themselves from the studio.

(Reuters) — A U.S. bankruptcy judge approved on Friday procedures for auctioning the film studio co-founded by Harvey Weinstein, who was fired by the company last year in the wake of allegations of sexual assault.

Read More Show Less
REUTERS

Baylor University Paid ex-football Coach $15 Million After sex Scandal

Baylor said the payments to the staff it removed were legal settlements, and that it had improved its procedures for reporting sexual assault, among other measures.

(Reuters) — Baylor University in Texas paid more than $15.1 million to its former head football coach Art Briles after firing him in 2016 for failing to address students' complaints of rape and sexual assault by football players, new tax filings show.

A spokeswoman for Baylor, a private Baptist university in Waco, said the money was severance pay, made as part of a legal settlement, and came from institutional reserves.

Read More Show Less
REUTERS

Ex-Assistant to Weinstein Denounces Secrecy Deal in UK Parliament

Zelda Perkins resigned after a colleague told her the producer had tried to rape her during an encounter in Venice where they were attending a film festival.

(Reuters) — A former assistant to Harvey Weinstein who signed a non-disclosure agreement in 1998 preventing her from talking about the alleged rape of a colleague told British lawmakers she was left fearing she could go to jail if she spoke out.

Read More Show Less