NEW YORK — Actress Ashley Judd explained how she escaped Harvey Weinstein's sexual advances two decades ago. She said she made a deal after she arrived at the hotel suite of the powerful film mogul for what she thought would be a business meeting.
It wasn't, she says. Weinstein first offered to give her a massage, then, when she demurred, asked her to give him one.
She says she refused to sit down and surveyed the floor plan of the suite to plot her escape.
"I thought 'no' meant no," she says. "I fought with this volley of no's."
Then she made a "deal." She says she agreed to submit to him, but only "when I win an Oscar in one of your movies — OK?"
"When you get NOMINATED," Weinstein counter-offered.
"And I said, 'No. When I WIN an Oscar.' And then I just fled."
Appearing on ABC's "Good Morning America" Thursday, Judd said she remains of two minds about how she handled the shocking situation.
"Am I proud of that? The part that shames myself says, 'No.' The part of me that understands the way shame works says, 'That was absolutely brilliant. Good job, kid, you got out of there. Well done!'"
Judd was among the first of what has become dozens of women alleging sexual harassment or assault by Weinstein, who has been fired from the company he co-founded with his brother and is now under criminal investigation for rape in London, New York and Los Angeles.
Judd says a couple of years after the hotel encounter she was seated across from Weinstein at a dinner. She says he brought up "that little agreement we made," and claimed he was "looking around for the material."
Then he looked at her and said, "You know, Ashley, I'm going to let you out of that little agreement that we made."
Judd says by then "I had come into my own, I had come into my power, I had found my voice. And I said, 'You do that, Harvey. You DO that.'
"And he has spat my name at me ever since."
Judd first revealed that she wasin 2015, though she did not name Weinstein at the time. She said he asked her to watch him shower.
Judd told Variety, "Yet I did not recognize at the time what was happening to me. It took years before I could evaluate that incident and realize that there was something incredibly wrong and illegal about it."
The actress said when she told other women in the industry, they all said the man had done the same thing to them. Judd added that she was hard on herself about the incident: "I beat myself up for a while. This is another part of the process. We internalize the shame."