Weinstein tries to get defamation suit thrown out, claims he made a deal with Ashley Judd

Harvey Weinstein's defence lawyers are ramping up their attack, filing papers to have actress Ashley Judd's defamation case thrown out.

Judd has accused Weinstein of sexual harassment and defamation, citing his "baseless smears" about her to Sir Peter Jackson as the reason she missed out on a role in the Lord of the Rings.

Sir Peter told Stuff in December 2017 that he had removed Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino from the casting list for Oscar-winning trilogy based on Weinstein's advice.

Weinstein's team wants the suit thrown out, claiming the pair struck a sexual deal that Weinstein was allowed to touch her if she won an Academy Award in one of his films.

Judd's legal representatives expressed disgust at the claims and denied there was ever any kind of deal.

"Mr Weinstein's arguments seeking to escape the consequences of his despicable misconduct are not only baseless, they are offensive," Theodore J. Boutrous, Judd's attorney told the LA Times.

"We look forward to opposing his flawed motion, moving forward with discovery into his outrageous behaviour and proving to a jury that Mr Weinstein maliciously damaged Ms Judd's career because she resisted his sexual advances."