Standing strong. Eliza Dushku opened up about her experience working on CBS’ Bull with Michael Weatherly, six days after it was revealed that the actress, 37, was paid $9.5 million after coming forward about alleged harassment on set. On December 13, The New York Times reported that Dushku, who appeared in a guest arc on the first season of the show, complained about the former NCIS star making her uncomfortable. Days later, she was written of the show.
On Wednesday, December 19, the former Buffy the Vampire star wrote a story for The Boston Globe, detailing her time on the show and what happened afterward.
“The narrative propagated by CBS, actor Michael Weatherly, and writer-producer Glenn Gordon Caron is deceptive and in no way fits with how they treated me on the set of the television show Bull and retaliated against me for simply asking to do my job without relentless sexual harassment,” the Bring It On alum wrote. “This is not a ‘he-said/she-said’ case. Weatherly’s behavior was captured on CBS’s own videotape recordings.”
She goes on to reveal she did not comment in The New York Times’ piece because she wanted to “honor the terms” of the settlement she had made with CBS. However, she was shocked by the “deflection, denial and spin” that was put on the story.
In the piece, she explains that Weatherly, 50, claimed she didn’t have the sense of humor to understand his alleged lewd jokes.
“That’s how a perpetrator rationalizes when he is caught. For the record, 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 De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio, even CBS’s own David Boreanaz,” she wrote. “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.”
She claims that she was “harassed” by Weatherly multiple times and it was all caught on tape. He allegedly offered to take her to his “rape van, filled with all sorts of lubricants and long phallic things.” Additionally, the actor would allegedly brag about his friendship with former CBS CEO Les Moonves. (Moonves was fired following sexual misconduct allegations.) “He regaled me with stories about using Moonves’s plane, how they vacationed together, and what great friends they were. Weatherly wielded this special friendship as an amulet and, as I can see now, as a threat,” she wrote.
She added that she did not receive an apology from Weatherly, but instead “a final act of bullying.” He allegedly sent a “memo” to the crew, telling them not to comment on her appearance. Then at the wrap party, he went “out of his way to humiliate” her, calling her a “truly beautiful woman” in a toast.
Dushku claims she was fired in the middle of shooting, within 48 hours of her complaints and that the CBS execs were “baffled” by the actions.
“They said they didn’t believe that Caron had the authority to fire me this way and suggested that it could not be true. What’s more, as was documented in several e-mails and texts, they and the production company, Amblin Television, were reportedly loving my work and called what I was doing for the show ‘fantastic’ and that they ‘love this dynamic,’” she wrote. “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.’”
She added that “the boys’ club” at CBS continues, as does the “bullying” that she endured. “In the settlement process, CBS used as defense a photo of me in a bathing suit, pulled from my own Instagram, as if this suggested I deserved or was not offended by the sexual harassment I experienced,” she said.
Us Weekly has reached out to Weatherly and CBS for comment.
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