Eliza Dushku has written an op-ed for The Boston Globe in which she goes into detail about the sexual harassment she faced from actor Michael Weatherly during her time on the set of the CBS series “Bull.” The New York Times reported last week that Dushku received $9.5 million to settle a sexual harassment complaint, and the actress said she declined to give a statement to The Times because she “wanted to honor the terms of [the] settlement with the network.”
Dushku was under the impression neither Weatherly or “Bull” writer-producer Glenn Gordon Caron would give statements to The Times. Weathlery ended up apologizing to Dushku in a statement, saying he “made some jokes mocking some lines in the script” and stopped after the actress told him she wasn’t comfortable. In her op-ed for The Globe, Dushku said that was not the case.
“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,” Dushku writes. “This is not a ‘he-said/she-said’ case. Weatherly’s behavior was captured on CBS’s own videotape recordings.”
Dushku joined “Bull” towards the end of the first season and writes that she was told she was being brought on to make the series more of a “two hander” heading into Season 2. “I was hired to finish the last three episodes of season one,” the actress said, “with CBS’s expressed intention of my beginning season two as a series regular with an option for up to six seasons.”
The actress writes Weatherly’s harassment started “early on.” Weatherly’s inappropriate behavior allegedly included asking Dushku to his “rape van, filled with all sorts of lubricants and long phallic things.” Dushku writes her co-star constantly name-called her, played “provocative songs” on set when she approached her set marks, and made a comment to her about having a threesome.
“He made the threesome remark to me about himself and me in a room full of people,” Dushku writes. “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.’
Dushku continues by saying Weatherly consistently made comments about her “ravishing beauty,” as well as “audible groans, oohing and aahing.” The actress writes, “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.'”
According to Dushku, she was fired from “Bull” soon after meeting with Weatherly in his trailer and confronting him about the on-set harassment. The actress writes after the meeting she started to be retaliated against on set and “iced out” by Weatherly.
“There was daily undeniably demeaning conduct that is unacceptable in an absolute sense,” Dushku writes. “Everyone should be allowed to work without harassment. 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 counsel, Barbara Robb.”
CBS’ $9.5 million settlement with Dushku represents a portion of what the actress would have received had she finished out what was intended to be a six-year contract. Head over to The Boston Globe to read Dushku’s op-ed in its entirety.