Zelda Perkins exploded into public view in 2017, the first woman to break a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) signed with Harvey Weinstein decades earlier. Zelda worked as a Production Assistant for Miramax and for several years worked directly with Harvey Weinstein on his film projects.
Zelda describes signing the non-disclosure agreement in her early twenties as feeling like having “guns pointed at me from every side” – by Weinstein’s lawyer but also by her own lawyer, who told her that she had no alternative but to sign. Over the years she regretted this over and over again – she found she could not explain to prospective employers why she had left Miramax, and her career in Hollywood film production effectively ended. She also began to hear about numerous other allegations against Weinstein and realized that his behaviour was serial, and that he had gone far beyond harassment and raped a number of women. She began to look for a journalist and a publication that were willing to break the story and risk the wrath of the most powerful man in Hollywood at the time. She knew that she could face an aggressive legal response from Weinstein if she broke her NDA – but she was ready.
Since then, others inspired by her example have spoken up about the widespread use of NDAs to gag those who could warn about serial harassers, rapists, and bullies.
The original story on Zelda breaking her NDA. (Financial Times)
For more information on NDAs, and how they are used to silence victims and whistleblowers, visit Julie’s website and this page on NDAs.
And breaking news! Zelda and Julie are working with Irish Senator Lynn Ruane to develop new legislation banning workplace NDAs in Ireland. (The Times)