Actress Ashley Judd claims she was once sexually harassed by a famous Hollywood studio executive.
In an interview with Variety, Judd told film editor Ramin Setoodeh that a high-powered studio mogul (whom she did not name) harassed her while she was filming the 1997 movie Kiss the Girls.
As reported by the Washington Post, the powerful executive “physically lured” Judd to his hotel room and made various sexual requests of her. According to Judd, she repeatedly declined the offers until his offer to watch him shower offered an opportunity to leave the hotel room.
“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,” Judd said.
— Variety (@Variety) October 7, 2015
Apparently, the 47-year-old actress felt even more guilt after she found out that the studio executive had done the same thing to other actresses.
“I beat myself up for a while . . . . We internalize the shame,” said Judd. “It really belongs to the person who is the aggressor. And so later, when I was able to see what happened, I thought: Oh god, that’s wrong. That’s sexual harassment. That’s illegal.”
Judd told Variety that she tried to confront the executive a few years later at the premiere of her movie Double Jeopardy, but he avoided her.
“I was no longer that naive ingénue who couldn’t identify what was happening as it was happening,” Judd said.
— TIME.com (@TIME) October 7, 2015
Recently, Judd penned a personal essay for Mic.com about being raped as a teenager, and how she was a survivor of abuse and incest. She reiterated the importance of speaking up about assault in her interview for Variety.
“We’re individually and collectively coming to a realization and acceptance that this is an entrenched part of the reality,” said Judd of "casting couch" encounters. “And I think that talking about it is essential to the process of becoming aware, accepting that this is reality and then ultimately taking action.”
What do you think about Ashley Judd's claims of sexual harassment by a Hollywood executive?