Accused sexual predator Harvey Weinstein is insisting again that he “had nothing to do” with casting Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films, and that he did not blacklist Ashley Judd or Mira Sorvino.
In a new statement released by a spokesperson on Weinstein’s behalf, the former Miramax honcho says he not only didn’t blacklist Sorvino but “was in fact working with her during the timeframe in question on Mimic, the Guillermo Del Toro film. Also during that time, she was dating Quentin Tarantino, who was the foundation and backbone of Miramax.”
Read the full statement below.
As for Judd, Weinstein says he cast her in both Frida and Crossing Over, and had even wanted her for Good Will Hunting. “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. “Minnie did a brilliant job and he believes Ashley would have as well.”
Yesterday, Rings director Jackson responded to Weinstein’s first round of blacklist denials by calling parts of his claims “insincere” and “a deflection from the truth.” Read Jackson’s entire rebuttal here.
Deadline has reached out to Peter Jackson for a response to Weinstein’s latest statement about the LOTR casting.
The accusations against Weinstein continued today when director Terry Zwigoff said Weinstein repeatedly hung up on him when Zwigoff raised the idea of casting Sorvino in Bad Santa. (Read about Zwigoff here.) Weinstein denies speaking with Zwigoff regarding casting. “That was a Dimension film and Harvey had nothing to do with it,” his statement reads, referencing brother Bob Weinstein’s Dimension Films.
Here is Harvey Weinstein’s latest statement about the Jackson comments, in full:
As Peter Jackson explained in his own statement, Bob and Harvey Weinstein had nothing to do with “Lord of the Rings.”
If Ashley Judd said she was in conversations with Mr. Jackson and reviewed sketches, it was under New Line, which had casting authority, not Miramax. Miramax never provided sketches to anyone.
Around the time of “Rings,” Mr. Weinstein cast Ms. Judd in “Frida” and years later, in “Crossing Over.” Miramax had flown Ashley to New York for casting discussions and to meet the production team for “Good Will Hunting.” 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. Minnie did a brilliant job and he believes Ashley would have as well.
Mr. Weinstein did not blacklist Mira Sorvino, and was in fact working with her during the timeframe in question on “Mimic,” the Guillermo Del Toro film. Also during that time, she was dating Quentin Tarantino, who was the foundation and backbone of Miramax.
At the time in question, no one could have blacklisted or derailed the career of Ms. Sorvino, who had recently won both an Academy and a Golden Globe award and was being courted for leading roles by all seven studios and every major broadcast network.
After the success of “Lord of the Rings,” Peter Jackson was so powerful he could have cast anyone he wanted in the “Hobbit.” Neither Ms. Judd nor Ms. Sorvino had roles in the film.
Mr. Weinstein continues to admire Mr. Jackson for his creative genius, but he firmly denies these accusations.