For Variety’s new Power of Women issue, actress Ashley Judd shared a very personal and emotional story. She explained that while she was filming the 1997 thriller Kiss the Girls, she was sexually harassed by “one of our industry’s most famous, admired-slash-reviled bosses.”
The mystery man would get her to his hotel room by claiming he wanted to talk about potential movie roles for the actress. He started out by asking Judd to help him pick out outfits, but then things got even more uncomfortable when he asked her to watch him take a shower.
“It was so disgusting. He physically lured me by saying, ‘Oh, help me pick out what I’m going to wear.’ There was a lot that happened between the point of entry and the bargaining. The ultimate thing when I was weaseling out of everything else was, ‘Will you watch me take a shower?’ And all the other women, sitting around this table with me, said, ‘Oh my god—that’s what he said to me too.'”
After turning him down, Judd claims she has never been offered a movie by “that studio” ever again. She also admits to beating herself up after the incident…
“I beat myself up for a while. This is another part of the process. We internalize the shame. It really belongs to the person who is the aggressor. And so later, when I was able to see what happened, I thought: Oh god, that’s wrong. That’s sexual harassment. That’s illegal.“
There are several people online who claim to know which “major movie mogul” she is talking about in this story, but we’re not going to mention his name because we have no proof. If you’re interested, just go to one of the many movie forums around the web and check it out for yourself.