Ex-Miramax assistant who was the first to break NDA with Weinstein, argues for an end to the gagging culture
A former Miramax assistant who was the first to break a confidentiality agreement with Harvey Weinstein has called for an end to the culture of gagging victims.
Zelda Perkins signed an NDA in 1998 after claiming that the embarrassed film producer had sexually harassed her when she worked for him at his London office and tried to rape one of her colleagues.
Perkins, who bravely violated the agreement to speak out in 2017, said Weinstein’s belief for third-degree rape and a criminal sexual act on Monday did not resolve the problem and the # MeToo movement should continue.
She told me New York Times: “Harvey that goes down for five or ten years is not the end of this. This does not solve the problem. We cannot all turn our eyes back to normal life and think that everything is fine.
Harvey Weinstein and his assistant Zelda Perkins at the Cannes film festival in 1998
Zelda Perkins prior to witnessing for British politicians investigating sexual harassment at work in London in 2018
“The fight definitely doesn’t end here. I think Harvey has become the bogeyman and figurehead of this terrible situation, but he’s not the only one. And I think we have to remember that #MeToo wasn’t about Harvey Weinstein. Tarana Burke did not start with #MeToo due to Weinstein.
“#MeToo is not finished when he goes to jail. And I hope this is the beginning of judges and juries who understand and take the nuances of abuse of power more seriously. “
Weinstein was convicted Monday by a New York jury of sexual abuse of former production assistant Mimi Haleyi in his apartment in 2006 and raping aspiring actress Jessica Mann in a hotel room in 2013.
He was acquitted of the two most serious counts of predatory assault, each of which involved a possible life sentence. He was also found not guilty of rape in the first degree against Mann.
Weinstein, who went to court with a walker for most of the trial, is now in jail for 29 years.
He was to be sent to Rikers Island prison immediately after the jury’s verdict, but was taken to the hospital with chest pain and palpitations.
Perkins said earlier that she tried 20 years ago to stop the sex abuse of the disgraced film filmmaker, but was eventually forced to sign an NDA.
She said she tried to take action as a 22-year-old in 1998 after her colleague at Miramax told her that Weinstein had tried to rape her at the Fim festival in Venice.
She thought “naively” that reporting his alleged abuse to the family-friendly parent company of the company would lead to his resignation.
Instead, she was warned not to speak out – and both women quit their jobs after signing agreements that prevent them from discussing the incident.
“I got the feeling that I was wrong because I tried to expose his behavior,” she told the British House of Commons in 2018.
Weinstein was sentenced on Monday by a New York jury of sexually abusive former production assistant Mimi Haleyi in his apartment in 2006 and raping aspiring actress Jessica Mann in 2013 in a hotel room
Rowena Chiu who says Harvey Weinstein tried to rap her when she was a 24-year-old assistant working at his London office
She said she felt compelled to sign the “strict and egregious” contract after “humiliating and humiliating” conversations that ended at 5 o’clock after a 12-hour meeting.
Rowena Chiu, Perkins’ colleague at Miramax who claimed that Weinstein tried to rap her at the film festival, told the New York Times: “I had said in an interview a few days ago that this is not just a story of one man.
“Even in the light of a belief, it’s not just one person. It is clearly a very important victory for the # MeToo movement.
“But the # MeToo movement is much, much larger than what happens with Harvey. This is certainly a moment of great encouragement and a milestone for me personally and the movement as a whole. “
Women’s rights activist Anita Hill said that Weinstein’s guilty verdict was “just the beginning” for the # MeToo movement.
She said the Weinstein case “was a clear call for justice for the countless women whose voices were suppressed in the workplace throughout society.
“The mission of the Hollywood Commission does not end with the long-awaited persecution of Mr. Weinstein. Our goal to ensure a safe working environment throughout the entertainment community remains more important than ever. “
She added: “We must continue to develop policies and practices that make systemic change permanent and promote a culture that reflects this change.
“We hope that more district attorneys will reconsider what they bring to court and provide appropriate critical witness statements to support those cases.
“Although one conviction is just the beginning, the Hollywood committee sees the Weinstein judgment as a powerful statement to our industry that progress is possible if we honor the voices of the survivors.”
Tarana Burke, the activist who started the original # MeToo movement more than ten years ago, said: “Most of us will never see the inside of the courtroom, but these women had to take the stand, look into their eyes and say it : “You did this to me.”
“He will be guilty forever. We have that. “