Ashley Judd’s sexual harassment claim against film producer Harvey Weinstein has been dismissed.
But in the ruling a judge in Los Angeles said the actress’ defamation claim against him could still go ahead.
Judd had accused the Hollywood movie mogul of sexual harassment in violation of a California law barring such conduct by a person in a “business, service or professional relationship” with another.
US district judge Philip Gutierrez said he was not determining whether Judd was sexually harassed by Weinstein “in the colloquial sense of the term”.
He said Judd’s relationship as an actress with the film producer was not covered under the California statute she had sued under, nor under a 2019 amendment.
Judd, one of the first women to publicly accuse Weinstein of sexual misconduct, has accused him of defaming her in 1998 after she refused what she claims were his sexual advances around a year earlier.
She filed the lawsuit in April 2017. According to court documents, Judd claimed Weinstein invited Judd to a hotel room in Beverly Hills in late 1996 or early 1997 to discuss potential film roles.
But when she showed up at the hotel room, Weinstein “appeared in a bathrobe, and, instead of discussing film roles, asked if he could give her a massage,” Judd claimed, according to the court documents.
She refused, as she did other alleged approaches by Weinstein, including a request that she watch him take a shower, the documents quote Judd as having alleged.
In her lawsuit, the actress accused him of smearing her reputation by discouraging director Peter Jackson from casting her in his movie franchise The Lord of the Rings.
Weinstein has denied defaming Judd or interfering with her career.
“We have said from the beginning that this claim was unjustified, and we are pleased that the court saw it as we did.
“We believe that we will ultimately prevail on her remaining claims,” Weinstein’s lawyer, Phyllis Kupferstein, said.
Judd’s attorney, Theodore J Boutrous Jr, said that this ruling does not change Judd’s complaint.
“Nothing about today’s ruling changes that Ms Judd’s case is moving forward on multiple claims,” Boutrous said.
“We look forward to pursuing the three claims for relief that the court has already ruled can move forward,” he also said.
Weinstein is to stand trial in May in New York on five charges, including rape, involving two other women.
The disgraced Hollywood producer has been accused of sexual misconduct by more than 70 women.
He has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.