Ashley Judd was one of the first women to come forward with allegations of sexual harassment by Miramax founder Harvey Weinstein. Now she’s talking about what it’s been like for her since the news broke, and her decision to speak out.
Speaking to Diane Sawyer on ABC News, the 49-year-old actress opened up about seeing the public talking about something she’d kept private for so long.
“I didn’t expect that I would be tearful, but it’s been an absolutely, tremendously moving two and a half or three weeks,” Judd said.
Making the decision to speak out was not easy. Judd says she feared people wouldn’t believe the women coming forward against Weinstein. She finally decided while on a run and praying.
“I also talked with my dad, and then I talked with my mom. I told her what I was thinking of doing, and she said, ‘Go get him.'”
Judd also explained that she had no warning about Weinstein before going to his hotel room that fateful night so many years ago.
“I remember the lurch when I went to the desk and I said, ‘Mr. Weinstein, is he on the patio?’ and they said ‘He’s in his room,’ and I was like, Are you kidding me,” Judd recalled.
The actress recounted her experience of being in Weinstein’s hotel room, and how she was cornered. “I have totally frozen in my mind the floor plan and where the door was behind me, and eventually where the closet was,” Judd said.
Judd also said that she escaped Weinstein’s advances by saying she would only do what he wanted after she won an Oscar for one of his movies.
Judd is still of two minds whether she could have done anything differently, maybe to protect other women.
“If I could go back with a magic wand and say, I wish I could prevent it for anyone always,” Judd said. “I don’t know that I would have been believed. And who was I to tell?”
Sawyer also showed Judd photos from a public event after the alleged incident, in which she and Weinstein appear friendly. Judd pointed out that in one of the photos he has clearly grabbed her hand, and “the look on my face is abject terror.”
“I feel for that 28-, 29-year-old woman,” she added.