Feeling trapped and facing a barrage of propositions years ago in Harvey Weinstein’s hotel room, Ashley Judd says, she made a deal with the now-disgraced producer: She would say yes to his sexual advances after she won an Academy Award for one of his films.
He countered with after she was nominated for one. She held firm.
The actress found herself alone with Weinstein in his room for what she thought was going to be a business appointment, she told ABC’s Diane Sawyer in a clip that aired Thursday on “Good Morning America." She hadn’t been warned, she said, and had no idea of what he might do.
Judd remembered her stomach lurching when the person at the desk told her she would be meeting with Weinstein in private, rather than somewhere public like the hotel patio. But, she thought, it was a business appointment.
About what she’d eventually offered Weinstein, the 49-year-old said, “Am I proud of that? I’m of two minds. The part that shames myself says no. The part of me that understands the way shame works says, ‘That was absolutely brilliant. Good job, kid. You got out of there.’”
The interview — more of which ABC will air Thursday on “World News Tonight With David Muir,” “Nightline," ABC News Digital and ABC News Radio — is Judd’s first public declaration since her statements in a New York Times investigation helped open the floodgates on three decades of sexual harassment allegations against Weinstein.
“There’s this constant grooming negotiation going on ...,” she said of the hotel meeting, during which the producer allegedly pressured her constantly to do what he wanted and steered her into a hallway near a closet where she had no exit.
“I thought with this volley of no’s, which he ignored — who knows, maybe he heard them as maybe, maybe he heard them as yeses, maybe they turned him on.”
She came up with the idea to make a deal.
“Finally, I just said, ‘When I win an Oscar in one of your movies, OK?’ And he was like, ‘Yeah, when you get nominated.’ And I said, ‘No, when I win an Oscar.’ And I just fled.”
Inviting young women to his hotel room for a meeting was, she said, “his pattern of sexual predation. That’s how he rolled.”
As for pictures put forth by Weinstein showing him holding her hand at a Vanity Fair Oscar Party when she was in her late 20s, Judd said things like “ick” and “gross.” His camp has said the images prove the two were friends.
“No,” she said. “That’s deny, attack, reverse the order of offender and victim.”
Judd said he had actually grabbed her hand as they crossed paths at the event, and that’s what the picture shows.