BRITISH ASSISTANT 'PAID £125K FOR SILENCE' OVER SEXUAL HARASSMENTDate: 2017-10-24
A former British assistant of Harvey Weinstein says she was paid £125,000 ($165,200) to keep quiet after accusing the movie mogul of sexual harassment.
Zelda Perkins told the Financial Times she signed a non-disclosure agreement in 1998 after making the accusations. She said he asked her to give him massages and tried to pull her into bed, but she "was made to feel ashamed for disclosing his behaviour".
Weinstein has denied any allegations of non-consensual sex "unequivocally".
The former assistant said she reported her allegations after a female colleague told her she had also been sexually harassed by the fil producer. By breaking the agreement, Ms Perkins could be liable to repay the settlement and potentially pay damages and other legal fees stipulated in the contract. She told the Financial Times: "I want to publicly break my non-disclosure agreement.
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 claims that the film executive would ask her to massage him while he was in his underwear, while they were alone in hotel rooms. Her testimony is similar to those of Lupita Nyong'o and Gwyneth Paltrow who both claimed Weinstein suggested a massage in his bedroom and hotel room respectively.
Weinstein has apologised for the way he has "behaved with colleagues in the past" and acknowledged that his actions have "caused a lot of pain". He also said many of the accusations against him are "patently false", and in a statement to the Financial Times said he had "confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances".
Allegations against the 65-year-old are subject to criminal investigations in London, Los Angeles and New York.
He is also under civil rights investigation in New York state.