Over the years, actress Julia Ormond recently told diversityJournalists have often asked her, “What happened to you?” Now we seem to have gotten our answer. In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in New York Supreme Court, Ormond claims that Harvey Weinstein sexually abused her — and that she “nearly disappeared from the public eye” afterward thanks to his retaliation.
In addition to Weinstein, Ormond is also suing Miramax, the Walt Disney Company and the Creative Artists Agency (CAA) – all “enablers” in an interview with the magazine. While Ormond’s star was on the rise in the mid-1990s, she claims in her lawsuit that the damage to her career “due to Weinstein’s assault and the consequences was catastrophic, both personally and professionally.” Looking back at the actress’s profiles from this time, the tension she began to feel in the industry seems clear to see.
Representative for CAA, Miramax and Disney did not immediately respond to Daily Beast reporter Pilar Melendez’s request for comment on the lawsuit. Imran H. Ansari, a lawyer for Weinstein, told Melendez in a statement that he “categorically denies the allegations made against him by Julia Ormond and stands ready to defend himself vigorously.” This is another example of a complaint that, according to filed against Mr. Weinstein decades ago, and he is confident the evidence will not support Ms. Ormond’s allegations.”
After starting out as a classically trained English theater actress, Ormond landed her first film role in the British television series 1989 Traffic. A few years later she became famous with “1994”. Legends of passion and 1995s First knight And Sabrina—and not long after, her career suddenly seemed to shrink to what the AV Club once called “more colorful supporting roles.”
1995’s Profiles of Ormond shows a thoughtful actress struggling to maintain control of her brand and her career – an impulse, she admitted at the time, that earned her the dreaded, often sexist label of “difficult” in the industry. had introduced.
In April of this year the New York Times published an in-depth look at Ormond’s rapid rise to fame, which scrutinized the “Hollywood machine now determined to make her a star.” The article also examined the young actress’ relationship with this giant; Given this, reporter David Blum wondered if she would have even wanted this kind of fame?
Like other profiles from the period, the piece offers a fascinating insight into the way the media talked about rising female stars in the 1990s.
“Julia has never had this much trouble,” said Patricia Marmont, Ormond’s British agent Just. “She’s beautiful and talented, and it always works.”
Another source, merely describing a “high-level Hollywood prankster,” said that Ormond was supposedly “difficult”: “Let’s just say it’s well known.” Meanwhile, Jerry Zucker, who directed Ormond First knight– refuted this idea. “If you respect Julia and her right to say whatever she wants, she will treat you great in return,” he said. Ormond himself told it Just that she first noticed her growing reputation after creative differences arose on the set of the TNT miniseries Young Catherine.
“Every interview I had for the next year, they asked me what it was like to work with me,” Ormond said Just. “It’s not necessarily about being good friends. It doesn’t have to be easy. It can be really annoying and frustrating and yet deeply satisfying.”
One person who gave Ormond a glowing review? Weinstein himself, who told it Just that the uprising Sabrina Star had “the best sense of story of any young actress in America today.” The Just added that Ormond was “one of many actors, directors and producers” that the mogul and now convicted rapist would entrust to review new material.
And yet “someone very close to Ormond,” who remained anonymous, also ominously told the newspaper: “Ten years from now you – or a reporter – will ask me, ‘What happened to Julia Ormond?’ …You know how it is. The process never ends.”
Months later, The Washington Post published a profile by Paula Span that called out the dynamic Ormond seemed to be facing more directly. “And of course,” Span wrote, “there’s the gender thing.”
According to Span’s profile, at the time Ormond was “close to signing a deal with Miramax” that would have allowed her to “develop, produce or direct her own films.” (Weinstein was still running the company at the time.)
Span observed this during roundtable interviews promoting the 1995s Sabrina, in which Ormond played the title character, director Sydney Pollack and Harrison Ford both referred to the actresses cast as “girls.” Earlier this year, Ormond reportedly turned down the chance to be featured on the cover of Vanity Fair alongside actresses, including Jennifer Jason Leigh, Nicole Kidman and Uma Thurman – they all respected her. As Span noted, “almost everyone stripped down to their underpants for the cover photo.”
“This is the new generation of women in film,” Ormond told Span. “That’s what they do: They pose in their underwear on magazine covers.”
Ormond has spoken about her sudden escape from Tinseltown before, but loudly Diversity-who first reported the lawsuit – she had not discussed her allegations against Weinstein with anyone other than her agents until now. In 2007, Ormond told The Daily Mail that the backlash she faced within the industry was “really predictable.”
“I could imagine it as a reaction to the hype,” she said at the time. “I was at the center of the hype, but I also didn’t agree with it. However, I think it probably stopped me from really enjoying that time.”
At the same time, the actress added that her life has not come to a complete standstill. “I made a documentary about Bosnian women in Serbian internment camps, I did a radio play, I worked with Harold Pinter… and I put a lot of time into personal things, falling in love and having a baby.”
Although Ormond worked hard to open her picture as she spoke to the post— as the actress put it at the time, she had come across “terribly serious” in previous profiles — she also couldn’t help but share her ambitions for women in Hollywood, as they were tied to the Miramax deal she was pursuing.
““It’s up to women to develop their own things,” she said, “to take the responsibility and the risks.” …Remove the woman from the appendix roll – the wife, the girlfriend, the one doing the sex scene .”
“I can no longer sit back and say, ‘Oh, there are so few good roles for women,'” Ormond continued, “when I’ve been given this opportunity.”