A former assistant of disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has broken a non-disclosure agreement to speak out about the film mogul’s alleged sexual harassment.
Zelda Perkins, who worked for Weinstein at London’s Miramax office, told The Financial Times she shared a AU$421,000 payout with another woman who was also allegedly sexually harassed by the producer. She said they signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) in 1998 that they would never go public with their stories.
For almost two decades, Perkins kept quiet about her experience working for the now 65-year-old.
But after hearing many other women come forward with their own allegations of abuse and harassment at Weinstein’s hands, Perkins is ready to go public.
"Unless somebody does this there won't be a debate about how egregious these [non-disclosure] agreements are and the amount of duress that victims are put under," she told The Financial Times.
"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."
Analysis: Harvey Weinstein: how lawyers kept a lid on sexual harassment claims https://t.co/egipfIn7hU
— Financial Times (@FinancialTimes) October 23, 2017
Before signing the agreement, Perkins said she was subjected to days of gruelling questioning by lawyers, including a 12-hour straight session by Weinstein's lawyers that lasted until 5am. She was just 24 years old at the time.