Decades before sexual misconduct allegations arose against Harvey Weinstein, actor Jason Priestley punched the disgraced movie mogul in the face
Decades before the slew of sexual misconduct allegations arose against Harvey Weinstein, actor Jason Priestley allegedly had a run-in with him that led to Priestley punching the disgraced movie mogul in the face.
On Friday, the Beverly Hills, 90210 star, 48, recounted the incident on Twitter after it was first revealed by actress Tara Strong, who suggested Weinstein might have tried to derail Priestley’s career after the fight in the same way Weinstein allegedly had done to whistleblowers Mira Sorvino and Ashley Judd.
According to Priestley, the alleged fight occurred at the Miramax after party for the 1995 Golden Globes.
“Harvey told me I had to leave… I was leaving when he grabbed me by the arm and said ‘What are you doing? ‘I said ‘You told me leave, I’m leaving,’ ” Priestley wrote when asked by a fan if there was more to Strong’s story. “‘I didn’t say you had to leave’ he replied. ‘You just told me to leave… right over there’ I tell him once again.”
That when things got “heated,” Priestley said. “He then grabs me tighter and says ‘Why don’t we go outside and talk about this,’ ” Priestley recalled. “That was all I needed to hear.”
“‘I’m not going anywhere with you’ I said as I pushed him back and punched [Weinstein] with a right hand to his face,” Priestley wrote. “Suddenly, there were security guards pulling us apart and I was escorted out of the party…”
Priestley did not say if had had any other interactions with Weinstein, or if the producer had retaliated in any way.
A representative for Weinstein did not respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment on the alleged incident.
Over 50 women have accused Weinstein, 65, of sexual misconduct since The New York Times and The New Yorker documented decades of alleged sexual misconduct and sexual assault involving a number of women in detailed articles in October.
Two of those women are Sorvino and Judd, whose names made headlines again this week when director Peter Jackson claimed that Weinstein and his producing brother Bob attempted to prevent the two women from starring in his Lord of the Rings franchise when he pitched his initial plans for the film to their studio.
“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, speaking with New Zealand publication Stuff. “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.”
“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 said.
In response to Jackson’s claims, Sorvino wrote on social media that she was “heartsick” over the news.
“Just seeing this after I awoke, I burst out crying. There it is, confirmation that Harvey Weinstein derailed my career, something I suspected but was unsure. Thank you Peter Jackson for being honest. I’m just heartsick,” she added.
Judd also responded to the allegation saying, “I remember this well.”
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Talks with Miramax for Lord of the Rings ultimately fell apart due to “contractual reasons,” Jackson went on to say. The blockbuster film franchise would ultimately be developed through NewLine
In a statement issued on Saturday, a spokesperson for Weinstein denied that he or his brother Bob Weinstein had attempted to blacklist the actresses.
“As Peter Jackson explained in his own statement, Bob and Harvey Weinstein had nothing to do with Lord of the Rings. If Ashley Judd said she was in conversations with Mr. Jackson and reviewed sketches, it was under New Line, which had casting authority, not Miramax. Miramax never provided sketches to anyone.
“Around the time of Rings, Mr. Weinstein cast Ms. Judd in Frida and years later, in Crossing Over. Miramax had flown Ashley to New York for casting discussions and to meet the production team for Good Will Hunting. While Ashley was the top choice for Miramax and Mr. Weinstein, the role went to Minnie Driver, who was the star and director’s preference. Minnie did a brilliant job and he believes Ashley would have as well.
“Mr. Weinstein did not blacklist Mira Sorvino, and was in fact working with her during the timeframe in question on Mimic, the Guillermo Del Toro film. Also during that time, she was dating Quentin Tarantino, who was the foundation and backbone of Miramax.
“At the time in question, no one could have blacklisted or derailed the career of Ms. Sorvino, who had recently won both an Academy and a Golden Globe award and was being courted for leading roles by all seven studios and every major broadcast network.
“After the success of Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson was so powerful he could have cast anyone he wanted in the Hobbit. Neither Ms. Judd nor Ms. Sorvino had roles in the film.
“Mr. Weinstein continues to admire Mr. Jackson for his creative genius, but he firmly denies these accusations.”
Weinstein has also previously denied any accusations of sexual assault.
“Mr. Weinstein has never at any time committed an act of sexual assault, and it is wrong and irresponsible to conflate claims of impolitic behavior or consensual sexual contact later regretted, with an untrue claim of criminal conduct.” Weinstein’s attorneys, Blair Berk and Benjamin Brafman, said in a statement to PEOPLE. “There is a wide canyon between mere allegation and truth, and we are confident that any sober calculation of the facts will prove no legal wrongdoing occurred.
“Nonetheless, to those offended by Mr. Weinstein’s behavior, he remains deeply apologetic.”