'Repulsive monster'

Harvey Weinstein’s ex-assistant who broke NDA speaks out again, discusses disgraced mogul’s lust for power

Zelda Perkins. (YouTube / BBC)

Zelda Perkins, the longtime London assistant to Harvey Weinstein at Miramax Films who signed a non-disclosure agreement 19 years ago and then courageously broke the NDA and spoke publicly about her former boss in October after the flood of allegations came to light, is speaking out again in her fist TV interview. She sat down with the BBC for a lengthy discussion about the impact not being able to speak out all these years has had on her, what motivated her to break the NDA and her psychological assessment of Weinstein, a man she referred to as a “repulsive monster.”

Perkins addressed a common question that comes up about Weinstein’s accusers, one that even Pamela Anderson alluded to: Why do women attend ostensible business meetings with Weinstein in his hotel room? Perkins says the answer to that question isn’t so simple. “This was where he did business. It wasn’t in his bedroom. It was in his suite. You had top agents, top movie stars, male and female, coming in hourly for meetings,” she said. “However he had a lot of meetings with actresses and he clearly had girlfriends … and they clearly had a fairly personal relationship with him.” Perkins said she assumed those relationships were consensual, but she could tell some of the women were reluctant to have been there. “With Harvey, there was really no such word as ‘no,’ and that really was the crux of the matter.”

In terms of Weinstein’s psychological makeup, Perkins said, “I don’t think he’s a sex addict. He’s a power addict. Everything he did, everything that drove him, was about dominance — with men and women. Watch a highlight of her elaborating on that below.

Perkins left Miramax in 1998 after a colleague told her Weinstein had attempted to rape her — an accusation the disgraced movie mogul has denied. “She was shaking, very distressed, and clearly in shock,” Perkins said of her former colleague. “She didn’t want anybody to know and was absolutely terrified of the consequences. I spoke with her and tried to calm her down before confronting Harvey face to face,” she said. Eventually, she signed the NDA, which prevented her from speaking publicly about the claims.

Since then, bottling up what she’s known has taken a toll. “The last 19 years have been distressing, where I’ve not been allowed to speak, where I’ve not been allowed to be myself,” she told the BBC. “It’s not just distressing for me, but for lots of women who have not been able to own their past, and for many of them, their trauma. Although the process I went through was legal, it was immoral.” Perkins acknowledged that there is a place for NDAs in society, but that they shouldn’t be abused and used as a tool to cover up sexual misconduct.

Watch another highlight of Perkins.

Unsurprisingly, Weinstein pushed back against Perkins’ claims in a statement from his attorney, CBS News reported. “Mr. Weinstein categorically denies engaging in any non-consensual conduct or alleged threatening behavior and will seek the protection of the U.K. or Irish courts if you proceed with the broadcast of these allegations,” the statement said.

Below, watch the complete interview with Perkins.


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