Eliza Dushku Details “Cruel, Aggressive” Harassment at Hands of Michael Weatherly
Eliza Dushku has broken her silence.
And Michael Weatherly will likely soon be out of a job.
Last week, The New York Times published a story in which it reported that Dushku was paid $ 9.5 million by CBS to settle sexual harassment claims she made during her brief stint on the drama Bull.
This piece mentioned inappropriate comments Weatherly made at the time in the presence of his co-star, while also stating that Dushku was effectively fired from her role after she complained about the lead actor.
The veteran actress had joined the cast of Bull, now in its third season, as a guest star whom producers hoped to make a series regular — until this incident scuttled those plans.
Dushku did not provide any quotes to The Times for its story.
Now, though, in an opinion piece for the Boston Globe, Dushku writes she feels “compelled” to come forward as she “declined to be interviewed for that piece because I wanted to honor the terms of my settlement with the network.”
She adds that she was aghast after seeing Weatherly comment on the accusations against him.
“I was under the impression that Weatherly and [Bull showrunner Glen Gordon] Caron would also not respond per our settlement,” she says in The Globe.
“Instead, all commented to the Times in what amounted to more deflection, denial, and spin.”
Dushku then detailed what sounds like a horrific experience on the set of this lame series.
“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,” she writes.
“This is not a ‘he-said/she-said’ case. Weatherly’s behavior was captured on CBS’s own videotape recordings.”
This is the statement Weatherly gave to The Times for its article:
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.
But Dushku now says these words ring hollow. Forgive the obvious pun, but they are a load of bull, she writes in The Globe:
“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.”
In her op-end, Dushku gives a first-hand account of the disparaging comments allegedly made by Weatherly.
Weatherly harassed me from early on. 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 the tapes show, he liked to boast about his sperm and vasectomy reversals (“I want you to know, Eliza, I have powerful swimmers”).
Weatherly had a habit of exaggerated eye-balling and leering at me; once, he leaned into my body and inhaled, smelling me in a dramatic swoon.
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.
Dushku makes it evident his “conduct was unwelcome and directed at me.”
The actress recalls confronting Weatherly after weeks of enduring his harassment.
“I aimed to be my diplomatic best,” she says of their meeting, which took place in his trailer, adding:
“This was not easy for me, since there were plenty of other things I would like to have said to him. Framing my request as a plea for ‘help’ in setting a different tone on the set, I asked him to ‘be my ally’ and to ‘help ease the sexualized set comments.'”
She says she was fired shortly after this conversation.
“Weatherly sexually harassed and bullied me day-in and day-out and would have gotten away with it had he not been caught on tape, and had the CBS lawyers not inadvertently shared the tapes with my [lawyer.].”
Dushku concludes that she never would have spoken out about this bullying.
Until she read what network executives said about it, along with Weatherly himself.
“In the end, I found uneasy solace in the important conditions I imposed on CBS, and that I would get paid for at least some of my contract. I am still trying to make sense of how this could happen, especially in these times.
“The last thing I want at this point in my life is to be in the news.
“I am recently married and very happily finishing my college degree at home in Boston.
“But I do feel it is my duty to respond honestly and thoroughly to CBS, Michael Weatherly, and Glenn Gordon Caron’s latest revisionist accounts.”