Zelda Perkins, a former assistant to disgraced Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein at the Miramax office in London, has spoken out about numerous instances when she was sexually harassed by her boss, including times when he asked for and offered massages, made her watch as he took a bath, and tried to pull her into bed.

"This was his behaviour on every occasion I was alone with him," the 44-year-old told FT. She said that her breaking point came when a colleague told her that she had been assaulted by Weinstein during the Venice Film Festival in 1998.

The two sought help from Simons Muirhead & Burton, who advised they seek damages. In negotiations with Allen & Overy, which represented Weinstein, a settlement of £250,000 was agreed and non-disclosure agreements signed.

Perkins, who was 24 years old at the time, said she was not allowed to keep a copy of her NDA. She said that it included certain stipulations that included Weinstein receiving therapy, the appointment of "complaint handlers" to investigate future allegations, and a requirement that the company report any similar complaints that came in within the two years of Perkin's contract to Miramax's then-parent company, Walt Disney Co.

Perkins explained that she initially wanted to expose his actions, but was advised against it. "I wanted to expose him [and] thought that we could go to Disney. But the lawyers were reluctant. They said words to the effect of: 'they are not going to take your word against his with no evidence.'"

"I was very upset because the whole point was that we had to stop him by exposing his behaviour. I was warned that he and his lawyers would try to destroy my credibility if I went to court. They told me he would try to destroy me and my family."

Having broken the NDA, Perkins could now face legal action as well as be made to pay back the settlement amount along with damages and other legal fees. Despite the potential repercussions, she explained that she felt that it was the right thing to do.

"I want to call into question the legitimacy of agreements where the inequality of power is so stark and relies on money rather than morality. I want other women who have been sidelined and who aren't being allowed to own their own history or their trauma to be able to discuss what they have suffered. I want them to see that the sky won't fall in.

"Unless somebody does this there won't be a debate about how egregious these agreements are and the amount of duress that victims are put under. My entire world fell in because I thought the law was there to protect those who abided by it. I discovered that it had nothing to do with right and wrong and everything to do with money and power.

"I want other women who have been sidelined and who aren't being allowed to own their own history or their trauma to be able to discuss what they have suffered. I want them to see that the sky won't fall in," she added.

According to FT, a spokesperson for Weinstein said: "Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr Weinstein. Mr Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances."

Harvey Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein denies a majority of the claims against him Getty

Weinstein Company NDAs

Meanwhile, a group of Weinstein Company employees are asking to be released from their NDAs. Their statement made on 19 October can be viewed online, and contains the following: