MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A former assistant to Harvey Weinstein is breaking her silence and alleging the disgraced Hollywood mogul tried to rape one of his employees.
Zelda Perkins worked at Miramax in the 1990s.
In her first television interview, she told our partners at the BBC she felt pressured to quit after confronting Weinstein over the accusations.
Perkins told the BBC’s Emily Maitlis she tried to comfort Weinstein’s alleged attempted rape victim.
“She was extremely distressed,” said Perkins. “Clearly in shock. Didn’t want anybody else to know. Absolutely terrified of the consequences, what would happen.”
Perkins alleges Weinstein attacked her co-worker during the 1998 Venice Film Festival. Perkins says she later pulled him out of a meeting to confront him.
“For me to have broken into a meeting like that was very unusual and he didn’t question me. He got up and came with me straight away and came with me because he knew why I was so angry and how serious I was,” said Perkins.
Perkins accused him of attempted rape. As for Weinstein’s reaction, Perkins said he denied it.
“Yes — he said nothing at all happened and he swore on the life of his wife and children which is his best get out of jail card that he used quite a lot,” said Perkins.
When she complained to her female supervisor at Weinstein’s movie company Miramax, Perkins says she was advised to hire a lawyer.
“I naively believed that if we went to Disney, they would be horrified and would fire Harvey or you know help us with the proceedings,” said Perkins.
The Walt Disney Company, which owned Miramax at the time, did not respond to our requests for comment.
Perkins later resigned and says she received a settlement of more than $200,000. She signed a non-disclosure agreement in October 1998 which Perkins says she now regrets.
“He put in an enormous amount of energy into humiliating men, and an enormous amount of energy into getting women to submit,” said Perkins.