A former assistant to Harvey Weinstein has broken her non-disclosure agreement to speak out about the sexual harassment she endured at the hands of the disgraced film producer.
Zelda Perkins, who worked for Weinstein at London’s Miramax office, was one of at least eight alleged sexual assault or harassment victims to reach settlements and sign NDAs with Weinstein over his working career, reports the New York Post.
She revealed to the Financial Times that she shared a payout of AU$421,000 with another Miramax employee who was also allegedly sexually harassed by the producer. The pair signed a non-disclosure agreement in 1998 that they would never go public with their stories.
However, on Monday Ms Perkins decided to tell her story, after 20 years of keeping quiet, revealing that Weinstein's sexual misconduct began the very first day she ended up alone with him. “He went out of the room and came back in his underwear,” she recalled. “He asked me if I would give him a massage. Then he asked if he could massage me.”
“This was his behaviour on every occasion I was alone with him,” Ms Perkins said. “I often had to wake him up in the hotel in the mornings and he would try to pull me into bed.”
She says her breaking point was when a colleague "white as a sheet and shaking" told her "something terrible has happened."
"She was in shock and crying and finding it very hard to talk. I was furious, deeply upset and very shocked. I said: ‘We need to go to the police’, but she was too distressed."
Ms Perkins says that negotiating the NDA was incredibly distressing and that she thought the police would protect her, however, she was made to feel ashamed for her allegations.
"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."
"I was made to feel ashamed for disclosing his behaviour and assault, and expected to name those I had spoken to, as if they too were guilty of something," she said.