A former assistant to Harvey Weinstein has accused the embattled producer of sexually harassing her for years.
In October 1998, Zelda Perkins and a colleague reportedly split a $330,000 settlement and signed a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) related to Weinstein’s sexual abuse and harassment. Now, she’s breaking her silence to recount her troubling time at Miramax.
Speaking with the Financial Times, Perkins said she worked at Miramax’s London offices for nineteen years but quit when her colleague accused the 65-year-old of sexual assault. She recalled the “distressing” experience of negotiating the terms of their settlement with Disney lawyers tasked with protecting the powerhouse producer’s reputation.
I discovered that it had nothing to do with right and wrong and everything to do with money and power,” Perkins said. I was very upset because the whole point was that we had to stop him by exposing his behavior. 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.”
Perkins claims that Weinstein harassed her the first time they were alone together. Weinstein allegedly came out of a room in his underwear and asked Perkins to massage him and for him to massage her, an offer she said she declined.
It didn’t end there, however. Perkins alleged that Weinstein would often be naked in the room with her and ask her to be present while he took a bath. She said the final straw was when a colleague told her that Weinstein sexually assaulted her while they were in Venice for a film festival. Perkins said that Weinstein denied the colleague’s allegations at the time.
The ex-assistant claimed she was subjected to draining 12-hour questioning sessions by lawyers at Allen & Overy’s London office. She recalled being made to feel “ashamed” about coming forward and lawyers grilling her about who she confided in.
Perkins told the Financial Times that she realizes that speaking out now puts her in violation of the NDA she signed 19 years earlier.
Weinstein’s spokesperson told the publication that Weinstein “unequivocally” denies all sexual abuse allegations.
[Featured Image: Arthur Mola/Invision/AP, File]