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Harvey Weinstein: British assistant 'paid £125k for silence'

A former assistant of Harvey Weinstein says she was paid large sums of money to keep quiet, after accusing the movie mogul of sexual harassment

24 October 2017, 9:00am
(Photo: the Los Angeles times)
(Photo: the Los Angeles times)
Former assistant Zelda Perkins told the Financial Times that she signed a non-disclosure agreement, back in 1998, after making Weinstein.

Perkins said that the accused asked her to give him massages and even tried to pull her into bed, and she was “made to feel ashamed for disclosing his behavior”.

Weinstein denied any and all allegations of non-consensual sex “unequivocally”.

Perkins said that she reported her allegations, after a female colleague informed her that she too had been harassed by Weinstein. The two subsequently sought damages and were awarded a sum of £250,000 (€280,800) to be split equally. They were also made to sign a non-disclosure agreement, prohibiting them from discussing the allegations.

By breaking the agreement, Perkins may be liable to repay the settlement, as well as damages and other legal fees, which would have been stipulated in the contract.

She told the Financial Times, however: “I want to break my non-disclosure agreement.

Zelda Perkins with Harvey Weinstein on a yacht in Cannes in 1998, the year she left his company (Photo: the Financial Times)
Zelda Perkins with Harvey Weinstein on a yacht in Cannes in 1998, the year she left his company (Photo: the Financial Times)
“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”.

Perkins’ testimony is similar to that of a number of Hollywood actresses, including Gwyneth Paltrow and Lupita Nyong’o, both of whom claimed that Weinstein suggested that they massage him, in his bedroom and hotel room respectively.

Weinstein apologised for the way he has “behaved with colleagues in the past”, and thus acknowledged that his actions have “caused a lot of pain”.

However, he has said that many of the accusations were “patently false”, and “confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances”, he told the Financial Times.

Actress Rose McGowan claimed that she reached a $100,000 (€85,000) settlement with Weinstein, in 1997, following an alleged incident in a hotel room at the Sundance Film Festival.

According to the New York Times, a legal document confirming the settlement stipulated it was “not to be construed as an admission”, but intended to “avoid litigation and buy peace”.

The allegations against the 65-year-old are subject to criminal investigations in London, Los Angeles and New York. He is also under a civil rights investigation in New York state.