LOS ANGELES: Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein will not have to fight a defamation lawsuit filed by actress Ashley Judd until after his criminal sexual assault trial, a California federal judge ruled.
In April 2018, Judd sued the producer, claiming he sexually harassed her and bad-mouthed her to filmmaker Peter Jackson, which cost her a part in "The Lord of the Rings".
In September 2018, US District Court Judge Philip Gutierrez dismissed Judd's sexual harassment claim but allowed her defamation claim to move forward, reports variety.com.
In January, Weinstein asked Gutierrez to stay the suit. He argued that he needed to preserve his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in the matter and therefore could not adequately defend himself against Judd.
Gutierrez on Tuesday ruled in favour of Weinstein, noting that while the nature of Judd's suit and the criminal case are "quite different", there's reason to suspect they may intersect.
Judd has indicated she may attempt to prove her claims using evidence concerning Weinstein's interactions with other women, and the New York prosecutor trying the criminal case intends to introduce evidence regarding other acts of sexual misconduct.
"At this point - with defendant's criminal trial set to take place in two months - the court believes that a complete stay of the proceedings is appropriate, with the exception that the stay will not extend to plaintiff's forthcoming appeal of the court's order dismissing her sexual harassment claim," said Gutierrez.
"However, in the event that it becomes apparent that defendant's criminal proceedings will extend well past June, the court may be willing to revisit this issue."
Weinstein in January lost a similar bid to put on hold a suit from a group of women who are suing him for assault and infliction of emotional distress.