A former assistant to disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein says she left his company 20 years ago after he "sexually assaulted and attempted to rape a colleague of mine".

The person had "recently been employed and had only met him once", Zelda Perkins told the Commons Women and Equalities Committee.

"When somebody comes to you and says that has happened there is not much choice about what you should do," she said.

Before leaving Miramax in 1998, Ms Perkins has said she made Weinstein sign a legal agreement committing him to attend therapy.

She told the AP news agency overnight on Tuesday it also required the company to act if he made any further payouts over alleged wrongdoing.

She was hoping to "create protection for people in the future", she said, but had "no idea if any of the obligations were upheld".

Under the terms of the agreement, Ms Perkins chose a therapist for Weinstein, but does not know if he attended any sessions.

A year after leaving Miramax, she saw him at the Cannes Film festival, where "he told me that everything I had done was pointless".

Now, she said she feels "defrauded", adding: "I believed we had done the best we could in terms of stopping his behaviour.

"We signed that agreement with the belief that Miramax and Harvey Weinstein would uphold their obligations," she said.

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Image:Harvey Weinstein has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex

As part of a settlement, she signed a non-disclosure agreement.

The Women and Equalities Committee has been investigating workplace sexual harassment.

Its chair, Maria Miller, said there were concerns that such agreements could be used to "mask the scale of this problem".

Ms Perkins told the committee: "There cannot be a legal document that protects criminal behaviour or coercive behaviour."

She called non-disclosure agreements "morally wrong".

She added that such agreements are "used abusively and within the law and there isn't enough regulation and there isn't a framework to protect the victims of the situation".

She also said Weinstein "wanted to keep his enemies close", and tried to keep her and her colleague in the company.

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"He offered us more money – whatever we wanted," she said. "It's a clear admission of guilt throughout the process."

Weinstein has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.

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