In April 1995, a striking photograph of Julia Ormond appeared on the cover of the New York Times Magazine, alongside the words: “When Hollywood needs a new star, it makes one.” »
Inside, a profile compared the then 30-year-old actress’ rapid rise to that of Audrey Hepburn four decades earlier. Ormond had recently starred in “Legends of the Fall,” with Brad Pitt, “First Knight,” with Sean Connery and Richard Gere, and “Sabrina,” with Harrison Ford.
The “Hollywood machinery” is “determined to make her a star,” notes the article, which includes a glowing quote from disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.
But suddenly and abruptly, Ormond, now 59, disappeared from the Hollywood elite as quickly as she had joined it. News articles and gossip columns sometimes wondered why, with no answer, until Ormond eventually faded from the spotlight entirely.
Now, nearly 30 years after the New York Times Magazine article was published, the apparent cause of its downfall has been revealed: Ormond was sexually assaulted by Weinstein eight months after its publication, and her career was derailed after she confronted him, according to a recently filed complaint. legal claims.
Ormond was one of Hollywood’s biggest prospects in the mid-1990s and appeared alongside Brad Pitt in the 1995 film Legends of the Fall (pictured).
Ormond, pictured on stage at the 1995 Oscars, claimed in a new lawsuit that she was sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein in 1995 and that her career was derailed after she reported the attack to his agents .
British actress Julia Ormond is suing Harvey Weinstein for sexual assault in a lawsuit describing her as “another victim of his depravity.” They are pictured with Tim Robbins and Dr. Mathilde Krim at a dinner at the Cannes Film Festival in 2001.
Weinstein is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence for rape in New York and was also sentenced to 16 years in prison in Los Angeles. His behavior, once an open secret among his fellow Hollywood executives, was publicly exposed during the #MeToo movement in 2017.
Ormond, who is also suing CAA, The Walt Disney Company and Miramax, claims she was attacked after a work dinner. He tricked her into giving him a massage before forcing her to have oral sex, the suit claims.
She confronted Weinstein about the alleged attack and reported it to her agents, but instead of receiving help, “Ormond quickly felt Weinstein’s wrath,” the complaint states.
His meteoric rise to fame was reversed and, in the words of Ormond’s legal filing, “the damage… was catastrophic both personally and professionally.” She has “almost disappeared from public view”, we add.
At the time, Ormond was earning $3.5 million per film after a rapid rise from television roles in his native Britain to Hollywood films.
Ormond’s first notable credit was in Traffik, a 1989 British series in which she played the drug-addicted daughter of a government minister. Two years later, she played the lead role alongside Dame Vanessa Redgrave in Young Catherine, about Catherine II of Russia.
In 1993, she played her first leading role in a major film, The Baby Of Macon, which also starred Ralph Fiennes.
Ormond also starred with Harrison Ford in the 1995 film Sabrina and was touted as one of Hollywood’s brightest talents.
Ormond alongside Sean Connery in the 1995 film First Knight
But it was Legends of the Fall the following year that sealed her place as the future queen of Hollywood. While critical reviews were mixed, the film grossed $160 million at the box office and Ormond’s performance received widespread praise. Steven Spielberg called it “incredible” and exclaimed: “It’s a bit like watching Audrey Hepburn for the first time on stage.”
Ormond proved himself several times alongside other major actors of the era, including roles in First Knight and Sabrina.
She also made an impression as an aspiring producer – and that’s what Weinstein allegedly used as an excuse for the meeting before the assault.
A few months earlier, in August 1995, Ormond’s agents negotiated a two-year deal between his production company and Miramax, the company founded by Weinstein.
But at the December dinner, which was apparently intended to discuss business, Weinstein “stated that he would only discuss the project in (Ormond’s) apartment,” which had been provided to him by Miramax, according to the lawsuit. That’s where Ormond says he attacked her.
She confronted Weinstein and reported the assault to his agents, who allegedly urged her not to speak out and warned that it could harm his career. She was then transferred to a less experienced agent by CAA and her career declined.
Ormond’s complaint, pictured at the 65th Taormina Film Festival on June 30, 2019, says she “felt Weinstein’s anger” after confronting him about the alleged sexual assault.
The suit said “the damage… was catastrophic both personally and professionally” after she raised the alarm about Weinstein. She has “almost disappeared from public view”, we add.
In singling out his agents, the suit continues: “Not only did CAA fail to fulfill its basic obligations, it compounded the damage once Ormond told his CAA agents, Bryan Lourd and Kevin Huvane, what Weinstein had done to him.
“Rather than siding with Ormond and defending her interests, they suggested that if she reported Weinstein to the authorities, she would not be believed and would seriously damage her career. Worse still, shortly after the attack of Weinstein v. Ormond and its report on the assault, the CAA lost interest in representing her, and her career suffered dramatically.
The lawsuit adds: “CAA, Miramax and Disney continued to profit handsomely from their close association with Harvey Weinstein for many years after Ormond was attacked by him and then pushed aside by Hollywood.”
Ormond’s credits since the fallout from the attack and his complaints largely include roles in television series and independent films. She received a Primetime Emmy Award in 2010 for her role in Temple Grandin.
Ormond said Varietywho was the first to report the lawsuit, that she kept the attack a secret – outside of reporting to her agents – until the #MeToo movement emerged and she confided in her family.
She said: “I’m telling my story now publicly because I feel like we still need systemic change, and I feel like we need accountability from facilitators, in order to make that happen. » I feel like this is what happened to me.