Weinstein denies barring Judd, Sorvino from LOTR

Harvey Weinstein on Friday denied barring US actresses Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino from working on the movie adaptation of The Lord Of The Rings.

The disgraced mogul, who has been accused of sexual harassment by more than 50 women, including Judd and Sorvino, was responding to remarks by LOTR director Peter Jackson.

In an interview with website Stuff on Thursday, Jackson said he expressed interest in casting Judd and Sorvino while pitching the project to Weinstein's production company Miramax.

"I recall Miramax telling us they were a nightmare to work with and we should avoid them at all costs. This was probably in 1998," Jackson said. "I now suspect we were fed false information about both of these talented women - and as a direct result their names were removed from our casting list," he added.

The trilogy was released by New Line Cinema in 2001.

Weinstein's spokesman said that he and his brother Bob "had no input into the casting whatsoever" on LOTR.

Judd said on Twitter on Friday that she recalled having detailed talks with Jackson about LOTR but "then I abruptly never heard from him again".

Sorvino said on Twitter that she "burst out crying" when she read Jackson's remarks, calling them "confirmation that Harvey Weinstein derailed my career, something I suspected but was unsure". - REUTERS