London: Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinsteins former assistant Zelda Perkins says Weinstein attempted to rape a former colleague at the Venice Film Festival 19 years ago.
Perkins broke her silence on Tuesday even though she had signed a non-disclosure agreement in 1998 and received 125,000 pounds from production banner Miramax, reports bbc.co.uk.
“We were at the Venice Film Festival and he tried to rape her,” said Perkins.
The colleague was shaking and in shock and also did not want anyone to find out about the matter, said Perkins, who added that she then called Weinstein out of a business meeting to confront him. He denied the accusation.
“He said nothing at all had happened and he swore on the life of his wife and his children, which was his best get-out-of-jail card that he used quite a lot,” Perkins said.
Weinstein has denied all accusations of non-consensual sex. Police in both the US and Britain are investigating multiple allegations against the disgraced producer and no charges have been brought.
Both Perkins and the colleague subsequently resigned.
Perkins said she expected criminal proceedings to follow, but her legal team made it clear that the choices available were limited.
“The lawyers made it very clear that we did not have many options. Because we hadn’t gone to the police when we were in Venice, we had no physical evidence, and ultimately it would be two under-25-year-old women’s word against Harvey Weinstein, Miramax Film Corp and, essentially, the Disney” she said.