Sir Peter Jackson has opened up about his experience with disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, saying he behaved like a "second-rate Mafia bully".
The Lord of the Rings filmmaker was in negotiations to produce the fantasy movies with Weinstein's company Miramax, before eventually making a trilogy with New Line Cinema instead.
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Although Sir Peter says he didn't know about the sexual misconduct allegations against Weinstein, he suspects he was lied to as part of a Miramax smear campaign against Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino.
"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," Sir Peter told Stuff.
"My experience, when Miramax controlled the Lord of the Rings, was of Weinstein and his brother [Bob] behaving like second-rate Mafia bullies. They weren't the type of guys I wanted to work with - so I haven't."
Before Lord of the Rings, Miramax distributed Sir Peter's film Heavenly Creatures.
Weinstein has been accused of rape and sexual harrassment by dozens of women.