Andrea Perkins is a former assistant of Harvey Weinstein who tried to hold him accountable for alleged sexual harassment 20 years ago. On Wednesday, she will testify on the effects of non-disclosure agreements on victims before the British Parliament’s Women and Equalities Committee.
The Associated Press spoke with Perkins on Tuesday, during which she said that the NDA she was forced to sign as part of a settlement agreement hampered her entire life. She said she was not allowed to see a therapist unless they also signed an NDA; she also said she was threatened that if her family or friends revealed any details of Weinstein’s behavior, she could be prosecuted. The situation, she said, left her in a “vortex of fear.”
Perkins worked in the London Miramax office in the ’90s, and alleged that she was subject to innuendo, massages, and surprise disrobing, but she didn’t feel unsafe with him. Then, during a trip to the Venice Film festival, Weinstein allegedly assaulted another assistant. Perkins confronted him, and tried to take the issue as far as she could—she was surprised and horrified when she discovered she’d get no help from the authorities. British police wouldn’t investigate an alleged crime that took place in Italy.
Both women left the company, and Perkins signed an NDA for a settlement and on the condition that Weinstein seek therapy. She said she even suggested a list of potential therapists for him:
“I have no idea if any of the obligations were upheld,” Perkins told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
She said that a year after she left the company she ran into Weinstein at the Cannes Film Festival, and “he told me that everything I had done was pointless.”
Perkins wants to urge lawmakers in the UK to make sure NDAs will not limit people’s ability to report a crime. She had to break hers to come forward about Weinstein, but says she has found the subsequent response and the #MeToo movement “thrilling.”
“It’s given me a faith back in society, and huge motivation to actually join in society and do something about it,” she said.