Names and faces
■ A federal judge in Los
Angeles has dismissed one section of Ashley
Judd’s lawsuit against
Harvey Weinstein, but the rest remains headed toward trial. U.S. District
Judge Philip Gutierrez ruled Wednesday that
Judd’s sexual-harassment claim isn’t within the scope of a California statute. Gutierrez had already rejected the claim in November but allowed Judd’s lawyers to amend it, then dismissed it again. Gutierrez said Judd’s allegations of defamation and economic interference can continue. Gutierrez’s 13-page order Wednesday made clear that he was making no judgment on whether Judd had been sexually harassed by Weinstein “in the colloquial sense of the term.” Rather, the ruling was limited to whether a recent change in California sexual-harassment law applied to Judd. She has said in court filings that Weinstein, appearing in a bathrobe during a business meeting at his hotel in the 1990s, asked her to submit to a massage and watch him shower. Judd said that after she rejected Weinstein’s sexual advances, he sabotaged her career. Judd attorney Theodore Boutrous Jr. said nothing about the ruling changes the fact that Judd’s lawsuit is moving forward, and her strong case remains intact. The 66-year-old Weinstein also faces criminal prosecution in New York. Weinstein has denied engaging in nonconsensual sexual activity.
■ Lady Gaga says she is sorry for her 2013 duet with R. Kelly in the wake of sexual-misconduct allegations against the singer, adding that she intends to remove the song from streaming services. “What I am hearing about the allegations against R. Kelly is absolutely horrifying and indefensible,” she said. In a social media post this week, Gaga wrote that she had collaborated with Kelly on “Do What U Want (With My Body)” during a “dark time” in her life as a victim of sexual assault. She said she should have sought therapy or other help instead. “I think it’s clear how explicitly twisted my thinking was at the time. If I could go back and have a talk with my younger self I’d tell her to go through the therapy I have since then so that I could understand the confused post-traumatic state that I was in,” she wrote. “I can’t go back, but I can go forward and continue to support women, men, and people of all sexual identities, and of all races, who are victims of sexual assault.” Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly series, which aired this month, has brought renewed attention to the singer’s history and allegations that he has sexually abused women and girls. Kelly has denied wrongdoing and in 2008 was acquitted on child-pornography charges.
Gaga and Kelly in 2013