A former assistant to Harvey Weinstein, who accused him of attempting to rape a colleague, has called for a change to UK law on non-disclosure agreements (NDAs).
Former employee, Zelda Perkins, worked for Weinstein's Miramax Films in the UK in the 1990s but left the company aged 24 after signing a gagging order which preventing her from speaking to anyone about her time under his employment and specifically, the alleged attempted rape of her colleague.
In her first broadcast interview with Newsnight's Emily Maitlis, Perkins describes Harvey as a 'repulsive monster' but admits he was also 'an extremely 'exciting, brilliant stimulating person to be around'.
'He was a master manipulator. His moods changed very quickly - you didn't know whether you were his confidant or going to be screamed at.'
Breaking 19 years of silence, the former assistant revealed that it was during a trip to the Venice Film Festival that a younger colleague came to her claiming that Weinstein had attempted to rape her, prompting Perkins to take action.
'She was shaking, very distressed, and clearly in shock,' she says. 'She didn't want anybody to know and was absolutely terrified of the consequences. I spoke with her and tried to calm her down before confronting Harvey face to face.'
While Weinstein denied the alleged sexual assault, Perkins returned to the UK and claims to have spoken to a senior member of Miramax who suggested she got a lawyer.
His moods changed very quickly - you didn't know whether you were his confidant or going to be screamed at
'The lawyers made it very clear that we didn't have very many options,' she reveals. 'We had no physical evidence because we hadn't gone to the police when we were abroad, and ultimately, it would be two young women's words against Harvey Weinstein.'
Perkins and her colleague ultimately resigned from the company, claiming they were constructively dismissed from Miramax due to Weinstein's behaviour.
As a result, the pair signed a non disclosure agreement with the film mogul, with Perkins receiving £125,000 as part of the settlement.
The former assistant fought to get terms included in the agreement, such as forcing Weinstein to seek psychological help.
'If you have an agreement that somebody has signed, that says that he will go to therapy, that he will be dismissed from his own company if anybody else makes a claim in the ensuing period, that an HR policy for sexual harassment has to be brought into the company, it's pretty clear that something's wrong,' she reveals.
It would be two young women's words against Harvey Weinstein
However, the gagging order also meant that Perkins was forbidden from speaking to a therapist without a non-confidentiality agreement, discussing her settlement with her accountant, and was even not permitted to own a copy of the NDA, describing it as a 'smoking gun'.
The Brit admits she made attempts to circumnavigate the agreement on several occasions but it was 'almost impossible'.
Having made the decision to break the terms of her agreement to speak publicly about Weinstein's behaviour amid the sexual assault and harassment scandals of late, Perkins now wants the UK parliament to debate the use of gagging orders to protect the rich and powerful.
'There are always going to be people who follow the darker side of their character. But if the rules and laws that we have to protect ourselves enable that, then there's no point in having them,' she says.
Ms Perkins adds: 'I understand that non-disclosure agreements have a place in society, and for both sides. But it's really important that legislation is changed around how these agreements are regulated.'
Mr Weinstein categorically denies engaging in any non-consensual conduct or alleged threatening behaviour.
Watch the full interview on Newsnight on BBC Two here.