Sir Peter Jackson has claimed Harvey Weinstein's response to allegations he banned the director from casting Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino in the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy is ''insincere''.

The 56-year-old filmmaker claimed earlier this week that the disgraced producer had informed him the two actresses - who are amongst those who allege that Weinstein sexually harassed them - were ''difficult to work with'' and shouldn't be hired for the three fantasy movies, which were released in the early 2000s.

Peter claims Weinstein made the comments whilst his production company Miramax were working on the project, shortly before the movies switched hands, and New Line took over.

However, after Peter's comments, a representative for Weinstein claimed the allegations were false, as all casting was done in co-ordination with New Line, after Miramax dropped out of the production.

Now, Peter has released a statement to Deadline, claiming that whilst Weinstein was not involved in the final casting, his claims that he had ''bad experiences'' working with Ashley and Mira meant that going forward, Peter ruled them out of the running.

The statement read: ''Aspects of Harvey's denial are insincere. He is basically saying that 'this blacklisting couldn't be true because New Line cast the movie'. That's a deflection from the truth.

''In the 18 months we developed the 'Lord of the Rings' at Miramax, we had many casting conversations with Harvey Weinstein, Bob Weinstein and their executives.

''Amongst the many names raised, Fran [Walsh] and I expressed our enthusiasm for Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino. In fact we met with Ashley and discussed two possible roles with her. After this meeting we were told by Miramax to steer clear of both Ashley and Mira, because they claimed to have had ''bad experiences'' with these particular actresses in the past.

''This type of comment is not unusual - it can happen with any studio on any film, when different actor's names come up in conversation - but once you hear negative feedback about somebody, you don't forget it.

''The movies changed hands from Miramax to New Line before casting actually got underway - but because we had been warned off Ashley and Mira by Miramax, and we were naive enough to assume we'd been told the truth, Fran and I did not raise their names in New Line casting conversations.''

Peter's statement goes on to state that after the actresses came forward to allege that Weinstein ''blacklisted'' them after they rejected his ''sexual advances'', he felt the need to speak out about his own experience when trying to hire the two stars.

He continued: ''Nearly 20 years later, we read about the sexual misconduct allegations being made against Harvey Weinstein and we saw comments by both Mira and Ashley, who felt they had been blacklisted by Miramax after rejecting Harvey's sexual advances.

''Fran and I immediately remembered Miramax's negative reaction when we put their names forward, and we wondered if we had unwittingly been part of the alleged damage to their careers, at the hands of Miramax.

''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 apologise to both Ashley and Mira.''