Harvey Weinstein’s former British assistant has claimed she was paid £125,000 ($165,200) for her silence after experiencing sexual harassment.
Zelda Perkins told the Financial Times she signed a non-disclosure agreement in 1998 after making joint allegations against Weinstein with a friend.
Perkins, who worked at Miramax in the 1990s, stated that he assaulted a friend of hers at the Venice Film Festival in 1998. She said that Weinstein would take off his clothes in front of her on a regular basis, and ask her to give him a massage, or watch him take a bath.
“This was his behavior on every occasion I was alone with him. I often had to wake him up in the hotel in the mornings and he would try to pull me into bed,” she explained.
According to the statement, Perkins put up with Weinstein’s behaviour for years, but took a stand after her friend was allegedly assaulted by the producer.
“She was white as a sheet and shaking and in a very bad emotional state. She told me something terrible had happened. She was in shock and crying and finding it very hard to talk.”
In October 1998, the two women settled on a £250,000 nondisclosure agreement, which was to be split between them both. Weinstein’s former assistant could now be liable to repay the settlement after breaking the terms of agreement.
Perkins explained that her reason for breaking the NDA was to highlight how “egregious” of an arrangement the contracts are.
“I want to publicly break my non-disclosure agreement,” she said. “Unless somebody does this there won’t be a debate about how egregious these agreements are and the amount of duress that victims are put under. My entire world fell in because I thought the law was there to protect those who abided by it.”
“I discovered that it had nothing to do with right and wrong and everything to do with money and power.”