One of Harvey Weinstein’s assistants who worked in the Miramax London office has decided to break her non-disclosure agreement which she signed as part of a settlement in 1998. Zelda Perkins says she was repeatedly harassed by Weinstein, starting on her first day at the company. From Page Six:
Perkins came forward Monday, telling the Financial Times that Weinstein’s sexual misconduct began the very first day she ended up alone with him while working out of Miramax’s London office.
“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.”…
Weinstein, she said, would often walk around the room naked and asked her to be in the room while he bathed.
“This was his behavior on every occasion I was alone with him,” Perkins said. “I often had to wake him up in the hotel in the mornings and he would try to pull me into bed.”
Perkins put up with all of this when it was directed at her, but the last straw that caused her to walk out of Miramax took place at a film festival in Venice when another female employee came to her saying she had been assaulted by Weinstein. From the Hollywood Reporter:
“She was white as a sheet and shaking and in a very bad emotional state. She told me something terrible had 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. Neither of us knew what to do in a foreign environment,” she recalled.
The two sought counsel from London-based law firm Simons Muirhead & Burton. FT reports that they were advised to seek a settlement claim and thus a negotiation began with international law firm Allen & Overy. The sides agreed upon a sum reported to be £250,000 that was to be split between the two women. They signed the contract in October 1998 and as a result, Perkins, who was 24 years old at the time, had not talked about Weinstein since, until she granted the interview to FT.
Will Harvey attempt to sue over the violation of the NDA? It seems as if he might be entitled to do so and yet that would certainly strike nearly everyone as lashing out at one of his victims. It would also be at odds with the claim that he’s undergoing a successful rehabilitation. He’d really have to be an idiot to sue at this point. Of course, if he doesn’t sue that will be a signal to the other women he settled with that they are safe if they come forward.
Would it really matter at this point if another six women came forward to say, basically, the same things about him we’ve heard 50 times now? I don’t think there’s any reputation left to protect at this point. Not suing the women who signed NDAs with him could actually be the first decent thing he’s done in a while.