Ashley Judd has finally spoken up about being sexually harassed by a high-powered studio executive. In a recent interview, the star revealed some details of an incident that occurred during the filming of Paramount’s Kiss the Girls.
Although the actress has not named the studio executive she is accusing of sexual harassment, Ashley Judd has now finally come forward about the incident almost 20 years later. Speaking with Variety, the 47-year-old actress said, “I was sexually harassed by one of our industry’s most famous, admired-slash-reviled bosses.”
Judd went on to say how the studio executive lured her to his hotel room by saying he wanted to discuss future movie roles.
“He was very stealth and expert about it. He groomed me, which is a technical term – ‘Oh, come meet at the hotel for something to eat.’ Fine, I show up. Oh, he’s actually in his room. I’m like, ‘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.”
While in his room, he would persistently ask Judd to do things like, among other thing, help him pick out clothes. Although she continued to refuse his requests, she was afraid of destroying her movie career so she continued to stay in the room with him. The final straw, however, was when the executive wanted Judd to watch him take a shower.
According to CBS News, Ashley felt helpless at the time, despite being known as a self-proclaimed feminist. After the supposed sexual harassment, Judd was never offered another movie deal from that movie executive again and now regrets she did not file charges.
Judd mistakenly surrendered to the belief that sexual harassment was common in the movie business and enduring it was just part of the process until she was able to make a name for herself. However, she later realized how wrong it was to accept and was able to finally come to terms with it.
“I did not recognize at the time what was happening to me. It took years before I could evaluate that incident and realize that there was something incredibly wrong and illegal about it.”
When Judd disclosed the possible sexual harassment incident to some other female industry colleagues, they claimed the same had happened to them. And not only did it happen to them, but the harassment was committed by the same high-powered studio mogul.
No longer fearing retaliation and ridicule, it was only by sitting down and talking about it had Ashley realized how important it is to take action against harassment. As other women were being ill-treated as well, she no longer blindly accepts that harassment by movie executives is just something to put up with in the industry.
Remaining bothered for years by the sexual harassment, Judd later encountered the executive across the table from her at a party for the premiere of her movie, Double Jeopardy. Judd was ready to call him out about the sexual harassment at the hotel years before when he glared at her in an attempt to shut her down.
Judd later recalled the encounter.
“I was no longer that naïve ingénue who couldn’t identify what was happening as it was happening. I was getting ready to nail him on it, and he said, ‘I think I’ll let you out of that deal we made.'”
Earlier this year, as reported by the Inquisitr, Ashley Judd was sexually harassed via Twitter when she used the social network to support her favorite college basketball team.
Additionally, Judd has spoken out before about other likely incidences of sexual harassment during her career. In 2014, Judd alleged that during the production of Dolphin Tale 2, producers alongside her on set had “said things [to her] that were so sexually charged.”
[Photos by Mike Coppola/Frederick M. Brown/Andrew Toth via Getty Images]