Former Weinstein Assistant Recounts "Trauma" of Her Job in First TV Interview

Weinstein ex-assistant_BBC Newsnight - Screengrab - H 2017
Screengrab/BBC Newsnight

Zelda Perkins also opened up about her relationship with the disgraced mogul and called out the legal system and nondisclosure agreements as tools that allowed him to operate with impunity.

Former Harvey Weinstein assistant Zelda Perkins opened up about her relationship with the disgraced former Hollywood mogul in her first television interview on Tuesday.

Speaking to BBC's Newsnight, Perkins spoke about a nondisclosure agreement she signed in 1998 after bringing allegations that Weinstein raped a co-worker to higher-ups at his company, Miramax. Perkins signed an NDA for 125,000 pounds. 

The incident occurred at the Venice Film Festival, after which Perkins' co-worker confided in her. Perkins then confronted Weinstein about the incident, which Weinstein denied. Perkins resigned and found a lawyer with the intention of taking Weinstein to court. However, she hit legal walls.

"The only way we could get Miramax to a table was to make a monetary request," Perkins explained. "I realized the only arsenal, the only thing I had to prevent Harvey’s behavior, was to create an agreement that was as binding to him as it was difficult to me. The only way I could accept the fact that money was going to change hands was that he would have to do an awful lot.”

That included attending therapy sessions, the first of which Perkins would sit in on to make sure he "talked about the relevant reasons" he was there. "I was trying to put any little claws into him that I could." The therapy session never happened. "His legal team kept stalling."

Perkins said the legal process left her "broken," and she left the entertainment industry to work with horses in South America. Speaking of Weinstein and his behavior, Perkins said, "He put an enormous amount of energy into getting women to submit, and to get men to submit." She also referred to him as a "repulsive monster."

Perkins expressed her disdain for NDAs, saying, "If you have the power to create agreements that cover up criminal action, I dread to imagine what other things are being covered up."