It was when I left Miramax in 1998 and tried to pursue justice that the scales really fell from my eyes; in some ways, the real abuse started then. I began working for Harvey when I was only 22 and didn’t really know who he was; partly through my naivety, partly through my upbringing, I happened to have the right set of tools in my personality to deal with him. I simply saw him as an unpleasant, lascivious boss and so treated him as such. I didn’t initially understand his power, or see him as the key to my future, which were the things that made so many others vulnerable to him.
But the challenge turned into a nightmare when a new colleague alleged Harvey had tried to rape her while we were at the Venice film festival. I had employed her to assist me, so she was my responsibility; once she told me, there was no possibility of us continuing to work for him.
On going to lawyers we were told, to our horror, that our only realistic option was to make a damages claim and enter into an agreement. They told me it wasn’t worth considering going to court. It became increasingly apparent that this had little to do with justice and everything to do with money and power. I had presumed the law was above all men, but the disparity of my position and Harvey’s trumped whatever he had done; the ensuing legal process ultimately broke my belief in the core values of our culture. That is more seismic than having your belief broken in one individual.
Miramax was represented by one of the most powerful “magic circle” law firms on the globe, Allen & Overy. Even though the allegations were of a serious criminal nature, a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) was negotiated that, as far as I can see, was wholly unethical. The agreement includes things that were legally extraordinary. Under its terms, my colleague and I would not be able to speak to a doctor, counsellor or accountant about what had happened, without them also signing an NDA, which we would be held accountable to if they broke it. The most sinister of these clauses stipulated that I was to use my “best endeavours” not to disclose anything in a civil or criminal case brought against Weinstein. In other words, I was to keep quiet, whatever the circumstances, for ever.
The NDA took hours of complex and stressful negotiations in Allen & Overy’s offices. The experience was one of complete siege mentality, with sessions lasting up to 12 hours. On one day, after a full morning’s negotiations, we resumed at 5pm and finished at 5am the next day. You lost track of time and space. We were two young women shut in a room full of lawyers talking in legal riddles, and we were not able to tell anyone what we were doing.
From the beginning, it was imperative to me that money never changed hands. But it was made very clear that a financial demand was the standard and only formula. At this point, our entire motivation became focused on the fact that, if we could not prosecute Harvey, then we had to stop his behaviour and protect people in the future, in exchange for our silence. Other obligations that were agreed were that Harvey would have to attend therapy for three years, and that Miramax would be forced to inform Disney (its parent company) or fire him if any further settlements were attempted. I don’t believe anyone had tried to do this before; it seems clear from the horrifying list of further allegations that have since emerged that his side of the agreement was not upheld.
I always felt we were being made to do something we didn’t want to do. However, it wasn’t a simple situation and it was not just about me. My colleague was in a very psychologically vulnerable position, having experienced extreme trauma in the first few weeks of her job, and we were being given frightening advice with few options. I had no choice but to do what our lawyers were telling us, even if it wasn’t what I wanted to hear.
Harvey insisted on being present on the day we signed the agreement. He apologised for his behaviour and offered us anything we wanted to return to the company. This was the first time my colleague had seen him since the attempted rape and it was obviously very distressing and intimidating. There seemed to be no protection within the system to stop this. His words that day were essentially an admission, all of which was noted down by our lawyer. But when we got up to leave, Harvey’s team insisted the notes be destroyed.
My film career came to a halt after that. It’s a small industry, and there were whispers and rumours. No one knew what had happened, of course, but after several uncomfortable interviews, it became clear people didn’t want to risk upsetting Harvey, and I couldn’t defend my reputation.
My goal now is to ensure that NDAs cannot be weaponised and used to hide criminal behaviour. Law firms have been enabling questionable behaviour and making money out of these agreements. And this is not just limited to sexual harassment; it is far more insidious within our work culture. My NDA would have been unenforceable, but this was never made clear to me and I lived in fear of it for 20 years – until last year. I felt I had been criminalised and that, if I spoke, I would be the one going to jail.
There will always be characters like Weinstein; we can’t deny the existence of charismatic, sociopathic and dangerous characters, and they seem to people the top echelons of most businesses. But as a society, we have a responsibility to make sure that employees are protected – and that if they are abused, they have true recourse.
There is a place for NDAs, but they have become an immoral tool, legally used to silence victims. The circumstances in which they are created need to be carefully examined, and regulated.
Earlier this year, I gave evidence to MPs at a select committee inquiry to examine sexual harassment in the workplace, and the improper use of NDAs. The lawyer who negotiated my NDA from Allen & Overy gave evidence immediately after me. I was sitting right behind him, watching his neck getting redder and redder as he was asked whether he had produced an agreement that could pervert the course of justice. I got terrible nervous giggles, because I hadn’t expected the MPs to be so aggressive. Unfortunately, the representative sent to the inquiry from Simons Muirhead & Burton (my solicitors 20 years earlier) had not been involved with my case.
My argument was not with the individual lawyers, nor even with the firms. My argument is with the fact that they were doing something apparently legal. A positive thing to have emerged from the inquiry is that the Solicitors Regulation Authority is now investigating; this, and the recommendations made by the select committee, mean there is a real chance that significant change will come. If power and money put you above the law, then the law is worth nothing. And that, fundamentally, is more frightening and dangerous than an ego out of control.
The UK government’s consultation on reform of the Gender Recognition Act closes on the 19th of October.
This consultation is run by the government (it’s not some zombie petition), filling it in is important and does make a difference.
If you are not sure why this matters, have a read back through the ‘trans issues’ category of posts on this blog, or look at the rest of Fair Play for Women’s website, or A Woman’s Place, or Transgender Trend, or Gender Trender, or 4th Wave Now.
Margaret Atwood said men fear women laughing at them. ‘Pips’ Bunce enjoys a situation where NO female colleagues are allowed to laugh at him, despite probably really wanting to. Trans status helped get him that complete control, male privilege did the rest
For context, see this GenderTrender post:
Two Guide leaders who had raised safeguarding concerns about the organisation’s transgender policy have been expelled and had their units closed down.
Dozens of children face disappointment because there is no one else to run the units. The expelled leaders say they will take legal action against Girlguiding if their removals are upheld.
Helen Watts, one of 12 leaders who signed a letter to The Sunday Times in April asking for a review of the policy, was told on Friday that her membership was being terminated after more than 15 years with the Guides.
At least one other signatory, based in the northwest of England, was expelled. Documents seen by The Sunday Times suggest disciplinary investigations have been launched against at least five Guide leaders.
Watts, the leader of a Rainbows unit for girls aged 5 to 7 in Ealing, west London, said: “I am very upset and I am also really angry. We had some serious concerns about a policy that ignored basic safeguarding principles.”
Watts was told she was being removed because she was “not willing to follow Girlguiding’s equality and diversity policy in so far as it provides for transgender inclusion”. She was also accused of calling a fellow volunteer a “nightmare” on a private Facebook group visible to 20 people.
Since last year the Guides have allowed male-bodied trans adults who self-identify as women to be Guide leaders and trans children who self-identify as girls to be members. On trips the children can share lavatories, showers and sleeping accommodation. The policy says parents should not be told if their daughter’s leader, or a child, is transgender.
Watts said: “The policy puts all leaders in a really difficult position. It contradicts other inclusion policies — for certain faith communities for instance — and it completely contradicts existing policies around informed parental consent.”
A parent from Watts’ unit, said she was shocked at the decision: “Helen is amazing. My daughter loves her — she is so professional and she makes the parents and the children feel so welcome. It’s a real shame what has happened.”
Another expelled leader said: “I was told my membership was revoked, I had to shut my unit down and I was not allowed to talk to the girls or their parents. They said I was refusing to follow Girlguiding procedures. I told them I would follow any procedure unless it conflicted with the safety of a girl in my care.”
She was also accused of being disrespectful on social media, but said Girlguiding had not given her any examples.
Girlguiding said: “Two individuals were found to have breached our volunteer code of conduct and social media policy and sanctions have been applied accordingly” and added that the expulsions were “not based on the individuals’ personal views”.
For female firefighters, prejudice and harassment is often part of the job. Women-only facilities are rare, sexism is rife and the profession is dangerous and traumatic. So how does the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) deal with the myriad problems facing their female members? By passing a policy that supports the right of men to self-identify as women, which, in turn, would enable them to use women’s dorms, washing facilities and lavatories.
Women comprise a mere 7 per cent of the UK’s firefighting force, up from just 4 per cent in 2012. But soon, if we go along with the line taken by the all-male national executive committee, there will be a few more, only these “women” are likely to have penises and Adam’s apples.
The policy was voted in on Thursday, eight votes to three, by an executive committee made up entirely by men. Its statement claims that: “The FBU is keen to ensure, for example, that women in workplaces are fully involved in discussions about the provision of women-only facilities and the impact of the proposed changes on those provisions.” But, according to a number of senior female FBU members I have spoken to, the voices of women have been largely ignored. “Many of us are outraged that a group of men have decided, without any consultation with female members, that a man can self-ID as a woman,” Lucy Massoud, the FBU’s LGBT representative told me.
This sorry tale from the FBU is just the latest in a long line of outrages towards women in the name of transgender inclusivity. For the past year, the proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act – which would allow people to self-define their legal gender – has created a massive ruck between transgender activists and feminists. It’s hardly surprising – there are potentially dire consequences to a law being passed that allows men to just decide they are women, and act on that decision immediately. If the law allowing self-identification passes, it would mean the end of women-only refuges, changing rooms, tents at Girl Guide camps, hospitals and psychiatric wards, and even prisons. This idiotic campaign has even been adopted by the Labour leadership (consisting of macho men reminiscent of the Seventies), who have decided to support having men who claim to be women on all-female shortlists.
Self-appointed “feminist allies” such as the Leftist poster boy, Owen Jones seem to get a thrill out of screaming “transphobe” at those of us who make it clear we do not believe men can be women simply because they say they are. When the world finally wakes up from this Orwellian madness, and the cowards who have so far been silent on the issue finally dare to speak out, it will become as clear as day that – as so clearly illustrated by the case of the FBU – transgender ideology is nothing more than gross misogyny dressed up as progress.
Yes but it won’t stop at rapists. Normalizing the misgendering of anyone sets a dangerous precedent.
This is why i’m fighting so hard on #RapistHill. If we give any ground they will not stop until all trans rights are systematically dismantled. First the rapists, next everyone else.
I’m standing up for myself. If we normalize erasing the identity of rapists then i’m next
It’s not just being called a dude, its the systematic destruction of trans rights. rapists are just the beginning. If they got their way we would be lined up against a wall with guns against our heads.
An entire page dedicated to the various kinds of psychological conditioning/manipulation techniques developed over the history of psychology and how to apply them to your sub or slave so they do what you want and are compliant.
Younger women are easier to
manipulatetrain according to them.
Rules for my personal slave [there are 50 in total – APL]:
1) It submits to the will of its Master and it is bound to Him. It accepts His authority over it for its purpose is to serve, obey and please its Master. It will be managed, disciplined and controlled in a manner beneficial to its slave training and long-term service and inclusion in his household as a slave.
2) It accepts that part of slave training is the actual physical control of its behavior. It will have no privacy from its Master. The space it occupies all its time, physical actions, privacy and relationships with others are controlled and managed by its Master.
3) Communication with its Master is one of the most important aspects of its development as a slave.
It is responsible for answering each and every e-mail sent to it by its Master and when not in His presence, it will send Him at least one e-mail or contact Him each and every day. It must be both specific and explicit in its speech.
It will give complete and accurate answers to each and every question that its Master asks of it.
It is allowed no secrets from its Master.
It will work hard to welcome this openness of body, mind and soul.
4) To receive pleasure it must earn it. It must always give thanks to its Master for all it is given immediately after receiving it, for such things are gifts or privileges granted to it by Him. This also includes any punishment and discipline that it may receive so that it may grow in bondage and serve him better.
5) It will not hesitate in its obedience to its Master and will respond quickly to all orders given.
How to keep your submissive on their toes (lol this is p fuckin rapey)