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#MeToo law restricts use of nondisclosure agreements in sexual misconduct cases

December 31, 2018Article
Los Angeles Times

For nearly 20 years, Zelda Perkins, Harvey Weinstein’s former assistant, lived with a secret.

Perkins, who had worked at Miramax’s London office, told no one about the movie mogul’s rampant bullying, how he had regularly exposed himself to her and forced her to take dictation while he bathed. She said nothing about the colleague who’d claimed that Weinstein had attempted to rape her, an incident that led Perkins (and the colleague) to leave the company after negotiating a settlement and signing a nondisclosure agreement that forbade them from discussing Weinstein’s behavior, even with family.

Perkins told her story in the Financial Times later that month, helping stir up questions about NDAs and the role they’ve long played in enabling men accused of abuse to evade discovery.

Schuyler Moore, a partner at Greenberg Glusker, calls legal restrictions on NDAs misguided. He said that many sexual harassment cases are “extortion” and pointed to a recent settlement he negotiated on behalf of a celebrity client, who he said was wrongfully accused. 

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