Ashley Judd: I was sexually harassed
Ashley Judd claims she was sexually harassed in the ‘90s by a movie mogul.
The 47-year-old actress initially didn't think there was anything wrong with visiting the unnamed studio boss at his hotel to discuss potential movie roles. However, the situation quickly escalated.
“I was sexually harassed by one of our industry's most famous bosses...,” Ashley told Variety, noting the incident took place while she was filming 1997 movie Kiss the Girls. “It took years before I could evaluate that incident and realise that there was something incredibly wrong and illegal about it...
"He was very stealth and expert about it. He groomed me... - 'Oh, come meet at the hotel for something to eat'... I show up... 'Oh, he's actually in his room. Are you kidding me? I just worked all night. I'm just going to order cereal'.
"It went on in these stages. It was so disgusting. He physically lured me by saying, 'Oh, help me pick out what I'm going to wear'. There was a lot that happened between the point of entry and the bargaining. There was this whole process of bargaining - 'Come do this, come do this, come do this...' And I would say, 'No, no, no...' When I kept saying no to everything, there was a huge asymmetry of power and control in that room."
The alleged situation between Ashley and the Hollywood executive continued until the movie boss asked her to watch him take a shower.
It was then she realised the incident was entirely out of the ordinary.
"In that moment, I told him something like, 'When I win an Academy Award in one of your movies',” Ashley said. “He said, 'No, when you get nominated.' I said, 'No, no, when I win an Academy Award.'
"That was a small moment of power when I was able to contradict him and hold to my reality. And then I got out of there. And by the way, I've never been offered a movie by that studio. Ever."
Following the ordeal, Ashley blamed herself for not speaking up about what she experienced.
The star later learned she was not the only actress to face such extreme sexual harassment - and that helped her find strength.
"This will be familiar to all the women to whom this has happened...” she continued. “I was with a bunch of other actors, and it was critical that it was actors: The exact same thing had happened to them by the exact same mogul. Only when we were sitting around talking about it did we realise our experiences were identical. There was a mutual strengthening and fortification of our resolve..."
- Cover Media