Saturday 24 August 2019

British ex-Weinstein assistant ‘breaks agreement to speak on harassment claim’

Zelda Perkins said she shared a £250,000 payout with another woman who said she was sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein.

Harvey Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein

By Sam Blewett, Press Association Los Angeles Correspondent

A British former assistant to Harvey Weinstein has said she has broken a confidential agreement to speak out about alleged sexual harassment by the disgraced movie mogul.

Zelda Perkins said in an interview with the Financial Times published on Monday that she wished to break the non-disclosure agreement said to have been made in October 1998.

Perkins, who worked for Miramax in London, shared a £250,000 payment with another woman who claimed she was sexually assaulted by Weinstein, according to the report.

Harvey Weinstein

Ms Perkins, who waived her right to anonymity, said Weinstein had repeatedly sexually harassed her, starting when he asked her to massage him while he was in his underwear.

“I want to publicly break my non-disclosure agreement,” she told the newspaper, running the risk of legal action against her.

“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.”

She said her first experience of harassment was when he asked her to massage him while he was wearing just his underwear, which she declined to do but his behaviour continued.

Harvey Weinstein and Gwyneth Paltrow with Oscars won for Shakespeare In Love in 1999 (PA)

“But this was his behaviour on every occasion I was alone with him,” she said. “I often had to wake him up in the hotel in the mornings and he would try to pull me into bed.”

Weinstein, who denies allegations of non-consensual sex, has been accused of sexual harassment and abuse by dozens of women since a bombshell investigation published by The New York Times.

The 65-year-old is the subject of criminal investigations in the UK, Los Angeles and New York as well as a civil rights investigation in the US state.

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