Being the bigger person. Ashley Judd opened up in a new interview about Harvey Weinstein and the bombshell sexual assault allegations she made against him earlier this month in a New York Times exposé. Speaking with ABC News’ Diane Sawyer for an interview that aired on Thursday, Oct. 26, the 49-year-old actress revealed that she has forgiven Harvey, 65.
“What I would say to Harvey is, I love you and I understand that you are sick and suffering. And there is help for a guy like you, too, and it’s entirely up to you to get that help,” she said, adding that he “should actually go to jail” if he is guilty of rape. Actress Rose McGowan alleged that Harvey raped her, a claim that he has vehemently denied.
Though she’s found forgiveness in her heart for Harvey, Ashley still can’t shake the traumatic memories from her interactions with the fallen film exec. The Double Jeopardy star said that Harvey approached her while she was in her 20s at the Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel. At the time, she was an up-and-coming actress, and agreed to go to Harvey’s room with him.
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She claimed that it was there that Harvey made sexual advances on her. In a panic, Ashley attempted to barter with the Hollywood power player to avoid any physical interaction. “Finally, I just said, 'When I win an Oscar in one of your movies, OK?'” she recalled, to which Harvey allegedly responded by asking if they could hook up once she was nominated. “I said, ‘No, when I win an Oscar,’” she added.
Ashley said that she and Harvey ran into each other a little while later at a 1999 event, where he brought up their agreement. “Remember that little agreement we made. I think I got that script for you,” Ashley recounted Harvey telling her. She said that the comment pushed her over the edge and she started “coming right at [Harvey]” in front of notable guests, including Barbara Walters.
“He said, ‘You know, Ashley, I’m going to let you out of that agreement we made,” Ashley told ABC News. “I said, ‘You do that, Harvey. You do that.’” She also explained why she waited so long to come forward with her story: “If I could go back retroactively with a magic wand and say, I wish I could prevent it for anyone always, I don’t know I would have been believed.”
Since Ashley’s initial claims made headlines, several other actresses — including Angelina Jolie, Cara Delevingne, and Gwyneth Paltrow — have come forward to share their own accounts of witnessing or falling victim to Harvey’s alleged inappropriate behavior.