Former Harvey Weinstein assistant Zelda Perkins recalled her time working for Weinstein in her first TV interview on Tuesday.
Perkins described Weinstein as a "repulsive monster" who put massive amounts of effort into "getting women to submit" and circumventing the legal system.
Speaking to BBC's Newsnight, Perkins spoke about a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) 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. She resigned from her job 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 ensure he was disclosing relevant details. "I was trying to put any little claws into him that I could," she said.
The therapy session never happened. "His legal team kept stalling," she said.
Perkins said the legal process left her "broken" and so she left her job 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."0comments
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."
The Hollywood producer has been accused of numerous counts of sexual assault and harassment against women stretching back years after an October New York Times expose, and has been fired from his production company.