Tag Archives: NDA

more #metoo whining

Jess Phillips MP raised the issue in Parliament (on 23/10/18) of the use of  NDA’s by companies to “silence” victims (presumably female) of abuse from speaking out. The trigger for this was a High Court order preventing the Daily Telegraph from naming a businessman who was the focus of the case.

Phillips whined “It seems our laws allow rich and powerful men to do pretty much as they want as long as they can pay to keep it quiet.” This has been the whingeing   moan of many ‘#MeToo’ victims, particularly in the US.

For example Zelda Perkins, a former  Harvey Weinstein aide, moaned that it was it was ‘ridiculous’ that she was prevented from reporting the information covered by the NDA she signed.

Why ‘ridiculous’ ???  She gave a binding undertaking to not disclose material. This is bizarre, but particularly so in the case cited by Jess Phillips.

If someone signs an NDA (a common commercial document of which Grumpy has signed maybe a couple of hundred) they give an undertaking not to disclose material which is the focus of the NDA. To do that, to give an undertaking and then claim it is ridiculous to be bound by the undertaking they gave, shows that the moaner is either very dumb or has no integrity.

However, in spite of reporting by the Daily Mail, other reporting indicated that it was  rather that victim signed what used to be called a Compromise Agreement and is now called a Settlement Agreement. This differs from a simple NDA in that (a) the document requires that the signatory has been instructed at no cost to them by a named lawyer independent of the other party  as to the implications of signing, and (b) generally allows for payment to the signatory in exchange for waiving whatever rights are given up.

If this were the case,  the victim was hardly bullied into signing; a lawyer had explained her options and the pros and cons thereof, and she accepted monies in exchange  for giving an undertaking to be bound by the terms. This was hardly a gun to the head.

In such cases, what we have now is that the #MeToo set want to take money for giving an undertaking of  confidentiality, and then whingeing about not being able to casually break this legally binding obligation for which they received an agreed recompense, and in spite of having being instructed by a lawyer as to the implications thereof.

Giving the drum banging that such people do about wishing the weight of the law to be brought down on an alleged abusers it is hypocritical in the extreme to simultaneously take money and ignore the legal agreement they freely entered into.  Apart from wishing to extract public revenge, some of them presumably gain publicity and further monies – e.g. Stormy Daniels. This is moving towards the exploitative, which is so damaging for genuine victims that Jess Phillips rightly wants to protect.