“Miramax smear campaign” – Harvey Weinstein denies pressuring Peter Jackson to blacklist Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino

Over the weekend, Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson suggested that Harvey Weinstein largely influenced some of his biggest casting decisions.

The director alleged that he was pressured to not cast the likes of Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino – both of whom have spoken out against him – in his LOTR franchise.

“I recall Miramax telling us they were a nightmare to work with and we should avoid them at all costs,” Peter Jackson said last week.

“At the time, we had no reason to question what these guys were telling us. But in hindsight, I realize 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.”

However, Harvey Weinstein’s people have hit back, claiming that there was no truth in any of Peter Jackson’s allegations against him or his brother Bob…

“As Peter Jackson explained in his own statement, Bob and Harvey Weinstein had nothing to do with Lord of the Rings,” a spokesperson for Harvey Weinstein said.

“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.

“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.”

Given that both Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino spoke out against Harvey Weinstein very early on, we don’t have a problem believing that Peter Jackson was ‘encouraged’ to cast other actresses in his franchise…

What say you?