Harvey Weinstein's former assistant broke her nondisclosure agreement on Monday and spoke to The Financial Times about her experience working for Weinstein at Miramax in the late '90s.
Zelda Perkins told the outlet that Weinstein repeatedly sexually harassed her during her time as his assistant. Perkins also said that he sexually assaulted one of her colleagues. She explained that both of them settled with Weinstein in 1998 because they didn't see any other options.
"I want to publicly break my nondisclosure agreement," Perkins told the 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. 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."
Perkins also told the outlet that the settlement process was so secretive that she wasn't even allowed to keep a copy of her NDA. She said that she was made to feel "ashamed" for reporting the harassment.
Although she knows there could be consequences to breaking her NDA, Perkins is willing to take the risk because she hopes it will inspire other women to come forward. "I want to call into question the legitimacy of agreements where the inequality of power is so stark and relies on money rather than morality," she told the outlet. "I want other women who have been sidelined and who aren’t being allowed to own their own history or their trauma to be able to discuss what they have suffered. I want them to see that the sky won’t fall in."
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