NEW YORK (AP) — Director Peter Jackson says he is now realizing that Harvey Weinstein's advice to avoid working with Mira Sorvino or Ashley Judd was likely part of a smear campaign against the two actresses.

Jackson tells Stuff that he was told by Miramax in the late 1990s that they were "a nightmare" to work with and thus didn't consider either for his Lord of the Rings films.

Sorvino said on Twitter that she burst out crying when she saw the article. She says it is confirmation that Weinstein derailed her career.

Judd and Sorvino are among dozens of women who have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct.

A spokesperson for Weinstein disputed the account, saying that his company Miramax was not involved in casting, which was handled by New Line.

Jackson said late Friday that "aspects of Harvey's denial are insincere."

In a statement on behalf of himself and producer Fran Walsh, he says that they both expressed enthusiasm for Judd and Sorvino.

"We were immediately told by Miramax to steer clear of them, because they claimed to have had "bad experiences" with these particular actresses in the past," Jackson wrote. "We have no direct evidence linking Ashley and Mira's allegations to our Lord of the Rings casting conversations of 20 years ago — but we stand by what we were told by Miramax when we raised both of their names, and we are recounting it accurately. If we were unwitting accomplices in harming their careers, Fran and I unreservedly apologize to both Ashley and Mira."