Eliza Dushku breaks silence on her Michael Weatherly sexual harassment allegations
Eliza Dushku is breaking her silence on the “secret settlement” between herself and CBS over allegations that she was sexually harassed during her time on the procedural Bull.
The actress wrote a 2,300-word account for the Boston Globe slamming her former costar Michael Weatherly, Bull writer-producer Glenn Gordon Caron, and CBS.
In rather devastating detail, Dushku disputed Weatherly’s previous statement that he merely “made some jokes mocking some lines in the script” and Caron’s insistence that she wasn’t written off the drama due to protesting Weatherly’s alleged actions. CBS eventually paid Dushku was paid $9.5 million, the amount of her contract had she continued on the show as a series regular for six seasons.
In the Boston Globe piece, Dushku writes:
— That Weatherly’s harassment went far beyond mere jokes (some of which was captured on tape by the production): “The tapes show his offer to take me to his ‘rape van, filled with all sorts of lubricants and long phallic things’ … There was also his constant name-calling; playing provocative songs (like ‘Barracuda’) on his iPhone when I approached my set marks; and his remark about having a threesome. He made the threesome remark to me about himself and me in a room full of people. Minutes later, a crew member sidled up next to me and, with a smirk, said in a low voice, ‘I’m with Bull. I wanna have a threesome with you too.’ … For weeks, Weatherly was recorded making sexual comments, and was recorded mimicking penis jousting with a male costar, this directly on the heels of the ‘threesome’ proposal, and another time referring to me repeatedly as ‘legs.’ He regularly commented on my ‘ravishing’ beauty, following up with audible groans, oohing and aahing’ … As was caught on tape, after I flubbed a line, he shouted in my face, ‘I will take you over my knee and spank you like a little girl’ … There was daily undeniably demeaning conduct that is unacceptable in an absolute sense.”
— That the issue wasn’t that she somehow couldn’t handle boyish humor: “I grew up in Boston with three older brothers and have generally been considered a tomboy. I made a name for myself playing a badass vampire slayer turned tough LA cheerleader; I have worked with numerous leading men, including Robert DeNiro, Leonardo DiCaprio, even CBS’s own David Boreanaz. I can handle a locker room. I have been on Howard Stern and was hired by Kevin Smith for a film where I wore a black leather cat suit and played a member of an international diamond-thief-gang-ring. I do not want to hear that I have a ‘humor deficit’ or can’t take a joke. I did not over-react. I took a job and, because I did not want to be harassed, I was fired.”
— That she attempted to deal with the harassment directly by going to Weatherly’s trailer and asking him to “be my ally” in “setting a different tone on the set.” But then: “After I left his trailer, I went straight back to my own trailer and wrote down everything I could remember about the conversation in a text to my manager, adding, ‘I hope he actually received it well & doesn’t run back to the studio telling them to fire me lol.’ Then, as I came to learn months later in the settlement process, Weatherly texted CBS Television President David Stapf about 40 minutes after our conversation and asked for what amounted to my being written off the show. Specifically, Weatherly complained that I had a ‘humor deficit.'”
— That showrunner Caron was no help either: “My talent representatives spoke to Caron about my firing months later. Caron defended Weatherly, explaining he had simply exhibited ‘frat’ behavior and added, ‘What does [Eliza] expect, she was in Maxim.’ On the subject of my legal rights, Caron said to my manager, ‘If Eliza wants to be out of the business by suing CBS, she can be out of the business.'”
Ultimately Dushku decided to talk publicly about the harassment after Weatherly and Caron did so first, in a New York Times story last week.
CBS did not immediately respond to EW’s request for comment.
Previously Weatherly gave this statement, among others in the Times piece: “During the course of taping our show, I made some jokes mocking some lines in the script. When Eliza told me that she wasn’t comfortable with my language and attempt at humor, I was mortified to have offended her and immediately apologized. After reflecting on this further, I better understand that what I said was both not funny and not appropriate and I am sorry and regret the pain this caused Eliza.” While Caron said: “The idea that our not exercising her option to join the series was in any way punitive just couldn’t be further from the truth,” he said in a statement.”
The details come on the heels of CBS announcing former CBS Corp. chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves would not receive any of his $120 million severance after completing its investigation into the myriad allegations of sexual misconduct against its former chief.