Jason Priestley Punched Harvey Weinstein in the Face

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The story cropped up after Peter Jackson confirmed Mira Sorvino and Ashley Judd's claims the disgraced producer had derailed their careers for refusing his advances.

"I recall Miramax telling us they were a nightmare to work with and we should avoid them at all costs".

Both Ashley and Mira recently came forward as two of more than 80 women who have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment, and Peter now believes his decision to bar the pair from working on the popular movies was part of a "smear campaign".

"My experience, when Miramax controlled the Lord of the Rings (before New Line took over production of the film), was of Weinstein and his brother behaving like second-rate Mafia bullies".

Judd responded in her own tweet but was less surprised, saying: 'I remember this well'.

We have no direct evidence linking Ashley and Mira's allegations to our Lord of the Rings casting conversations of 20 years ago - but we stand by what we were told by Miramax when we raised both of their names, and we are recounting it accurately.

"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", he said.

Weinstein has responded to Jackson's claims, insisting the director was "fed false information" about the actresses. "You just told me to leave. right over there" I tell him once again.

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Now, Peter Jackson fills in the gaps. However, as Mr. Jackson will probably remember, because Disney would not finance the Lord of the Rings, Miramax lost the project and all casting was done by New Line.

It added that Sorvino called Weinstein earlier this year to ask if her husband, actor Christopher Backus, could be cast in the TV series "Six" that he was producing "and Mr. Weinstein cast him".

Terry Zwigoff, who made the 2003 film Bad Santa, said overnight that he was potentially looking to cast Sorvino in a key role, but that he was prevented from doing so by the Weinsteins, who were then in charge of production house Miramax. It later moved to New Line Cinema. "I appreciate the truth coming out", she said.

If they could not find a replacement, they would go with Weinstein's plan to make just one film, he recalled.

Director Peter Jackson made the revelations this week after staying quiet on the scandal for months.

'Although his name had to be on the Lord of the Rings credits for contractual reasons, he was not involved in the movies we ended up making, ' Jackson said.

In it, author Ronan Farrow said: 'Four actresses, including Mira Sorvino and Rosanna Arquette, told me they suspected that, after they rejected Weinstein's advances or complained about them to company representatives, Weinstein had them removed from projects or dissuaded people from hiring them'. He did not leave until she lied and said that her boyfriend was on the way over.