After news broke earlier this week about the true reason behind Eliza Dushku’s sudden departure from Bull, the actress has now broken her silence about the “secret settlement” that she was paid for CBS after she came forward with sexual harassment allegations against co-star Michael Weatherly.
Dushku shared her words in an essay for the Boston Globe where she told her side of the story and disputed Weatherly’s claims that what he said was only making “some jokes mocking some lines in the script.”
“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 actress wrote. “This is not a ‘he-said/she-said’ case. Weatherly’s behavior was captured on CBS’s own videotape recordings.”
“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.”
She added that she did not immediately comment when The New York Times‘ released their story on the situation because she wanted to “honor her terms” of the settlement but was shocked by the “deflection, denial and spin” that was put on the story, so she decided to speak out herself.
“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.”
Dushku’s full response can be read here.