Harvey Weinstein’s former assistant says lawyers threatened to ‘destroy me and my family’
Harvey Weinstein’s former assistant says lawyers threatened to ‘destroy me and my family’ A former assistant for Harvey Weinstein broke her non-disclosure agreement to open up about the producer’s sexual harassment. Zelda Perkins told the Financial Times that she worked as an assistant for Weinstein in Miramax’s London office in the mid ‘90s, when she was 24. Weinstein would frequently walk around his room naked and ask her to stay while he bathed, Perkins claimed. “But this was his behaviour on every occasion I was alone with him,” she told the Financial Times. “I often had to wake him up in the hotel in the mornings and he would try to pull me into bed. During the Venice Film Festival in 1998, Perkins claims a co-worker came to her “white as a sheet and shaking and in a very bad emotional state. “He had a need to annihilate and humiliate men,” she told the Financial Times. “But with women it was all about seduction and submission. Harvey made you feel in an honorary position of trust and influence which he then used as a tool to exert control.”. Perkins confronted Weinstein, who denied anything. When she got back to London, she went to a lawyer, who told her that she would have to settle for damages. “I was very upset because the whole point was that we had to stop him by exposing his behaviour. I was warned that he and his lawyers would try to destroy my credibility if I went to court. They told me he would try to destroy me and my family,” she told the Financial Times. “My driving motivation was to create safeguards to protect future employees. After negotiations, Perkins and a colleague split a settlement worth about $330,000 in October 1998. As part of the agreement, Miramax was to set up a procedure for complaints and Weinstein would go to therapy “for as long as his therapist deems necessary.”. If more allegations were lodged against Weinstein within two years later and resulted in a settlement worth six months’ salary or about $46,000, Miramax was required to report it to then-owner Disney or fire Weinstein. Perkins told the Financial Times that she’s unsure whether Miramax upheld its side of the agreement. The former assistant, who now works for theatre production company Robert Fox, said she broke her NDA to “all into question the legitimacy of agreements where the inequality of power is so stark and relies on money rather than morality. “I want other women who have been sidelined and who aren’t being allowed to own their own history or their trauma to be able to discuss what they have suffered,” she told the Financial Times. “I want them to see that the sky won’t fall in. In the past several weeks, dozens of women have accused Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault, spanning decades. Perkins is the first to break an NDA, though Weinstein Company employees issued a statement last week asking to do the same. “We have nothing to hide, and are as angry and baffled as you are at how Harvey’s behavior could continue for so long,” the staff said. “We ask that the company let us out of our NDAs immediately—and do the same for all former Weinstein Company employees—so we may speak openly, and get to the origins of what happened here, and how.