Tuesday 20 August 2019

Harvey Weinstein’s brother paid UK accusers from personal bank account

The New Yorker alleges the payment came from his private bank account and therefore helped conceal the incident from executives.

Harvey Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein

By Sam Blewett, Press Association Los Angeles Correspondent

Harvey Weinstein’s brother used his personal bank account to pay £250,000 to two Miramax employees in the UK who accused the disgraced producer of sexual harassment and assault.

Bob Weinstein, who co-founded the film studio with his brother, admitted to The New Yorker that he made the payments but said his brother told them the payment was to keep an affair quiet.

In its latest expose, the magazine on Tuesday claimed the payment helped conceal the incident from Miramax executives because it came from his personal bank account.

Bob Weinstein

Zelda Perkins was working for Miramax in London as an assistant to Harvey Weinstein when she says she shared the £250,000 payment in October 1998 with a woman who said she had been sexually assaulted.

Bob Weinstein told The New Yorker: “Regarding that payment, I only know what Harvey told me, and basically what he said was he was fooling around with two women and they were asking for money.

“And he didn’t want his wife to find out, so he asked me if I could write a cheque, and so I did, but there was nothing to indicate any kind of sexual harassment.”

Speaking about the allegations, Ms Perkins has previously told journalists she was breaking a non-disclosure agreement to discuss the payment.

The confidential agreements can be used to enforce silence among accusers, as was the case, according to the magazine, with Italian model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez who was reportedly paid one million dollars (£760,000) after she accused Harvey Weinstein of groping her.

Harvey Weinstein

Ms Perkins, in her latest comments, said she was repeatedly sexually harassed by Harvey Weinstein, 65, and had to fend of barrage of “exhausting” sexual advances.

She said her “prodigiously bright” colleague was too terrified to go to the police after the alleged sexual assault.

But they both quit, Ms Perkins said, and hired lawyers who convinced them their only option was the settlement, which was split evenly between them.

Harvey Weinstein’s lawyers Blair Berk and Ben Brafman said they could not discuss the article’s allegations because of continuing legal investigations but said it contained “unsupported and untruthful insinuations”.

“Suffice it to say, Mr Weinstein strongly objects to any suggestion that his conduct at any time has ever been contrary to law,” they said in a statement in which they added he denies ever engaging in “non-consensual sexual conduct”.

Harvey Weinstein is being investigated by police in the UK, Los Angeles and New York after dozens of women publicly accused him of sexual harassment and assault.

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