Published: Sun, December 17, 2017
Culture&Arts | By Darrell Mcdonald

Why Jason Priestley Punched Harvey Weinstein In the Face Back In 1995

Why Jason Priestley Punched Harvey Weinstein In the Face Back In 1995

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.

"Mr Weinstein has nothing but the utmost respect for Peter Jackson". "While Ashley was the top choice for Miramax and Mr. Weinstein, the role went to Minnie Driver, who was the star and director's preference", the statement says.

Three-time Oscar victor Jackson, who described Weinstein and his brother, Bob Weinstein, as "behaving like second-rate Mafia bullies", also said he feuded with the studio about the number of films in the franchise and has chosen not to work with the brothers since.

Jackson tells Stuff that he was told by Miramax in the late 1990s that they were "a nightmare" to work with and thus didn't consider either for his Lord of the Rings films. Looking back, Jackson said "I realize that this was very likely the Miramax smear campaign in full swing", after both actresses had turned down Harvey's advances. Fran and I immediately remembered Miramax's negative reaction when we put their names forward, and we wondered if we had unwittingly been part of the alleged damage to their careers, at the hands of Miramax. "This was probably in 1998", he told the site. "They weren't the type of guys I wanted to work with - so I haven't". "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. Mira previously praised Jackson for confirming her worst fears about a smear campaign, tweeting: "Just seeing this after I awoke, I burst out crying. When Christopher Backus received a better offer, Mr. Weinstein allowed him to amicably break his contact to peruse the opportunity".

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Judd and Sorvino have both publicly claimed Weinstein sexual harassed them, and they both missed out on roles in Jackson's Lord of the Rings films because of what the brothers had said about them.

But Weinstein, through a spokesperson, denied that claim on Friday, saying that Miramax "lost the project and all casting was done by New Line".

"Movie making is much more fun when you work with nice people", Jackson said.

In that same piece, Sorvino said that she thinks rejecting Weinstein had affected her career.

Weinstein cast Judd in two subsequent films - "Frida" (2002) and "Crossing Over" (2009) - and Sorvino was also considered for other films, the spokesman added.

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