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Eliza Dushku has offered more insight into the events surrounding the $9.5 million settlement she was paid by CBS after reporting sexual harassment on the set of the network’s show Bull.
In an op-ed penned by the actress for the Boston Globe on Wednesday, Dushku claimed that CBS, Bull star Michael Weatherly and showrunner Glenn Gordon Caron have pushed a “deceptive” narrative and retaliated against her for “simply asking to do my job without relentless sexual harassment.”
In the initial New York Times report, published last week, Dushku levied allegations against Weatherly of constant sexual harassment while on set, including the actor calling her “legs” and saying he would “pull her over his knee” and spank her in front of the cast and crew. When the actress brought the allegations to CBS brass, she says she was offered the $9.5 million settlement to exit the show.
“This is not a ‘he-said/she-said’ case. Weatherly’s behavior was captured on CBS’s own videotape recordings,” Dushku wrote in the Globe.
The actress said she declined an interview for the Times piece to “honor the terms of my settlement with the network,” but says that Weatherly and Caron, who have both commented on the allegations, issued statements that “amounted to more deflection, denial, and spin.”
Dushku claimed that Weatherly harassed her from “early on” and “had a habit of exaggerated eye-balling and leering” at her. She also said that Weatherly would tout his close relationship with then-CEO of the network Leslie Moonves as an “amulet” and a “threat.”
“Reflecting on the whole ordeal, it often makes me think with sadness of the majority of victims who do not have the benefit of the fortunate evidence — the tapes that I had,” she wrote.
Dushku said she went to Weatherly directly with her complaints about his behavior, to make him an “ally,” but, as she learned later during her settlement hearings, Weatherly had texted CBS TV president David Stapf shortly after their initial meeting to essentially ask Dushku be written off the show.
“Retaliation is illegal, not to mention unfair and painful,” Dushku wrote. “After I addressed it, Weatherly doubled down and ratcheted up his retaliation. Following our conversation and up until the season wrapped weeks later, he barely spoke to me, making it clear he was icing me out.”
Dushku also levied blame on Caron, who she said “wrote me off the show within 48 hours of my complaints about Weatherly.”
The actress also disclosed particular details she included in her settlement with the network, including that “CBS designate an individual trained in sexual harassment compliance to monitor Weatherly and the show in general” and a meeting with director Steven Spielberg, whose Amblin Television produces Bull. Dushku planned on speaking with Spielberg about the harassment, but she has yet to have the meeting.
“Watching the Golden Globes and seeing Spielberg front-and-center wearing a ‘Time’s Up’ pin shortly after my settlement made me especially eager to meet with him,” she said.
CBS declined comment on Dushku’s op-ed and reiterated its initial statement from last week.
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