Ashley Judd says a part of her still ‘loves Harvey Weinstein’ as she opens up on relations

The star, 55, who was one of the first women to publicly accuse Weinstein of sexual misconduct in 2017, described their connection as a “relationship of sorts.”

She sued the former film producer during April 2018 after she claimed he lured her to his hotel room, asked her to watch him bath and tried to massage her.

The actress also took legal action for defamation and retaliation claiming after she refused his advances Weinstein had led her to be blacklisted in the movie world.

Ashley, at the Reykjavik Global Forum, said: “Let’s talk a little bit about Harvey and what those moments are like.

“In 1996 I’m filming Kiss the Girls, it’s a nice shoot and I go to the hotel where he and I both happened to stay – the Peninsula to have this breakfast meeting with him.

“I go to the front desk as I know them and they know me and I say is Mr Weinstein in the restaurant or is he on the patio and they say he is in his room.

“I’m so naive, I thought room service takes so long I’m so ty-ty I’m going to have to order cereal to make the meeting go faster.

“So I go upstairs, Harvey does what Harvey did, the bathrobe, the sexual harassment, the threats, the watch me take a bath and all of this stuff.

“I managed to get out of the room my trauma responses kicked in. “I realised he would not speak my language, he could not hear no. So I stooped to his level and spoke his language and we shall not shame women for becoming what is called having tonic and mobility and doing and saying the things that were necessary to save their lives.

“What we do in our trauma is appropriate and is life-saving and we should not criticise a woman’s behaviour and say she was asking for it or say she had a filthy mouth or something like that.”

She added: “There’s a part of me that loves Harvey Weinstein. We have profoundly affected each other’s lives. He may be in prison and I may be here with you but we were in a relationship of sorts.

“I don’t see him as bad and wrong needing to get good and right. I see him as sick and suffering who was set up by a system and was enabled by it that does not expunge his record or make him void of personal responsibility but it does broaden the understanding so we can bring men and boys in as our collaborators and our allies as much as we need each other we need boys and men too.

They have to incentivise to change while being held accountable.” She brought the suit against Weinstein after Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson revealed in an interview that Miramax had discouraged him from casting Judd and Mira Sorvino and said they could be a “nightmare to work with.”

On being asked whether she would ever consider meeting Weinstein again, she added: “I believe in restorative justice and not just restorative justice but transformational justice because in some instances there is not much that can be restored.

“So how do we transform not only the perpetrator and the victim?

“But the systems and the communities and broken stories produced these harms in the first place and forgiveness is no favour – I do it for myself and I would only be punishing myself if I held onto contempt, judgement, criticism and rage – it’s like me drinking the poison and hoping that Harvey is going to get sick.

“I imagine it’s not very nice to be Harvey Weinstein – there’s actually some compassion.” She said she felt like she had said her piece in Variety, the New York Times along with in the movie She Said and that it was “time to hear from Harvey.”

“I don’t have an agenda for what he would say. He may feel some sense of error or he may not. We all have a story,” she said.

She told how she was abused when she was seven and how she was raped and molested when she modelled as an unescorted minor at the age of 14 in Japan and helped to support women and girls in Cambodian brothels.

Ashley has been committed to social justice in her role as UN Goodwill Ambassador with reproductive health agency UNFPA and underlined her determination to eradicate male entitlement to women’s bodies and children are not for sex.

She said her hope for the future is that “everyone would be free.” Many have called for her to turn her attention to politics and she revealed the late US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright had been a true inspiration.

“Secretary of State Madeleine Albright taught me that I can’t do it all at the same time but I can do it all,” she said. “I loved Secretary Albright, she called me buddy.

I was so chuffed to be called her buddy. I think I’m able to be effective and have some impact where I am right now with what I am doing right now.

I really appreciate people’s encouragement for me to run for office, it’s the confidence they have in me I hold in high regard.”

She has been focusing on her healing after she underwent treatment for depression in 2006 she entered Shades of Hope Treatment Centre in Texas, which she said proved to be effective over the 46 days she was there.

Part of that healing has led her to conduct research into the primates – the bonobos, which can only be found in Democratic Republic of the Congo, which she learned about during her studies at Harvard University.

“Bonobos are very important – they demonstrate that male dominance and male sexual coercion is not evolutionary inevitable,” she said.

“It’s the prequel to the human story – right now the only prequel we have is chimpanzees who were so well-known, so well-researched, so well-studied and well-financed and 100% of all female chimpanzees are severely beaten and are sexually coerced by males every day.

“They are wee savages. They are violent towards other groups. “Research shows that bonobos share valuable resources and groom each other and play and this pro-sociality is done in cooperation.

“We thought humans had one model – but they are our closest living relatives.” She added: “I went to see the bonobos there and they loved me back to life.”

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