Sir Peter Jackson has revealed his contempt for Harvey Weinstein, saying the now disgraced film producer blocked several actresses from being involved in the Lord of the Rings project.
Jackson says Weinstein prevented Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino from being considered for the trilogy in the late 1990s.
Both actors revealed this year that Weinstein had sexually harassed them earlier in their careers.
In total this year nearly 70 women have accused Weinstein of inappropriate sexual conduct.
In the late 1990s Weinstein was running film studio Miramax, which was funding Jackson's LOTR project.
"I recall Miramax telling us they were a nightmare to work with and we should avoid them at all costs. This was probably in 1998," Jackson told Fairfax.
"At the time, we had no reason to question what these guys were telling us - but in hindsight, I realise that this was very likely the Miramax smear campaign in full swing.
"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."
Jackson told Fairfax that he had not heard any suggestion of Weinstein's sexual impropriety but said he and his brother Bob had acted like "second-rate Mafia bullies" and as a result the Kiwi director had resolved to never work with them again.
Jackson had clashed with Weinstein over the Hollywood heavyweight's insistence that Lord of the Rings be one film, not two.
Miramax later dropped out of the project and new studio New Line agreed to turn LOTR into three films to match the books. The trilogy was a critical and commercial success.
"Movie making is much more fun when you work with nice people," Jackson told Fairfax.