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Peter Jackson says Weinstein made him blacklist accusers Ashley Judd, Mira Sorvino

ANI | Updated: Dec 16, 2017 03:22 IST

Washington DC [USA], Dec 16 (ANI): Hollywood director Sir Peter Jackson has finally broken his silence on Harvey Weinstein and has come up with some really hard-hitting facts.

According to E! Online, the 56-year-old filmmaker opened up about his working relationship with Weinstein and claimed that he and his brother Bob banned him from casting Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino in the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy.

In a recent interview with a leading New Zealand website, Jackson shared that Weinstein told him that Judd and Sorvino were ''a nightmare to work with''.

He said, "I recall Miramax telling us they were a nightmare to work with and we should avoid them at all costs. This was probably in 1998. At the time, we had no reason to question what these guys were telling us - but in hindsight, I realise that this was very likely the Miramax smear campaign in full swing. I now suspect we were fed false information about both of these talented women - and as a direct result their names were removed from our casting list."

Instead, the 'King Kong' helmer noted that it was the Weinstein brothers that were most difficult to work with.

"My experience, when Miramax controlled the 'Lord of the Rings', was of Weinstein and his brother behaving like second-rate Mafia bullies. They weren't the type of guys I wanted to work with - so I haven't. Although his name had to be on the Lord of the Rings credits for contractual reasons, he was not involved in the movies we ended up making," explained Jackson.

Both Ashley and Mira have recently come forward as two of more than 80 women who have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment, and Peter now believes his decision to bar the pair from working on the popular movies was part of a "smear campaign".

He also claimed that Weinstein threatened to remove him as director of 'Lord of the Rings' if he didn't turn the proposed two-part film into one which forced Jackson to search elsewhere.

Meanwhile, Weinstein has said that he remembered it differently.

The disgraced mogul denied all of Jackson's allegations in a lengthy statement sent to media outlets, saying that both women were considered for other Weinstein projects.

The statement read, "Mr. Weinstein has nothing but the utmost respect for Peter Jackson. However, as Mr. Jackson will probably remember, because Disney would not finance the Lord of the Rings, Miramax lost the project and all casting was done by New Line."

The representative also said that there were no indications that Judd or Sorvino had any issues with Weinstein until he read about their allegations in the media.

He also added that Sorvino called Weinstein earlier this year to ask if her husband could join the cast of his Seal team TV project 'Six'.

The statement concluded, "As recently as this year, Mira Sorvino called Mr. Weinstein and asked if her husband could be part of the SEAL television series [Six] he was producing, and Mr. Weinstein cast him; when Christopher Backus received a better offer, Mr. Weinstein allowed him to amicably break his contact to peruse the opportunity."

Weinstein's career in Hollywood was destroyed after reports came forward accusing him of intimidating, sexually harassing and abusing women for decades.

In the fallout, the once-acclaimed producer has been ousted from his own production company, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Producers Guild of America. (ANI)