Eliza Dushku’s True Lies co-star Jamie Lee Curtis has written an essay about the former actress’ accusations that the film’s stunt coordinator sexually assaulted her when she was a minor while working on the 1994 film.
Dushku accused Joel Kramer of assault in a lengthy Facebook post on Saturday, in which she claimed she was “sexually molested” by the then-36-year-old stunt coordinator after Kramer “lured” her to his hotel room during production. Dushku was 12 at the time.
Curtis, who portrayed Dushku’s mother in the movie, wrote in an essay published Sunday in The Huffington Post that Dushku told her about the alleged incident “a few years ago.”
“I was shocked and saddened then and still am today,” Curtis wrote. “We have all started to awaken to the fact that the terrible abuses now commonplace in daily news reports have been going on for a very long time. Unconscionably, those reports frequently come along with claims by the perpetrators that, as adults, those perpetrated against had some part in it. Eliza’s story has now awakened us from our denial slumber to a new, horrific reality. The abuse of children.”
Curtis argued that, although there are protections in place for young performers, the rules are “often broken.”
“I hope today that what can come from all of these exposures are new guidelines and safe spaces for people ? regardless of age, gender, race or job ? to share their concerns and truths and that all abusers will be held accountable,” she continued. “All of us must take some responsibility that the loose and relaxed camaraderie that we share with our young performers has carried with it a misguided assumption that they are adults in an adult world, capable of making adult choices.”
She argued that adults on productions where minors are employed have an obligation to protect the young performers.
She concluded: “The truth will set us all free. Hopefully that freedom will bring a new ability to call out abuse and, when that abuse occurs, to have swift and consistent action, so that no one again will have to wait 25 years for their truth to be heard.”
In her Facebook post, Dushku wrote in part, “I remember vividly how he methodically drew the shades and turned down the lights; how he cranked up the air-conditioning to what felt like freezing levels, where exactly he placed me on one of the two hotel room beds, what movie he put on the television (Coneheads); how he disappeared in the bathroom and emerged, naked, bearing nothing but a small hand towel held flimsy at his mid-section.”
For his part, Kramer denied the allegations to THR on Saturday.
True Lies star Tom Arnold took to Twitter on Saturday afternoon to write, “Of course I believe @elizadushku.” He added that the actress was a “wonderful child and is an amazing woman. … This makes me very angry & breaks my heart but I AM SO PROUD OF HER. #MeToo #TimesUp.”
True Lies director James Cameron said Saturday that Dushku is “very brave for speaking up.”
On Sunday, Sue Booth Forbes, Dushku’s legal guardian on the set, said in a statement that the actress was telling the truth.
“I was on the True Lies set for 3 weeks and reported Joel Kramer’s inappropriate sexual behavior towards 12-year-old Eliza to a person in authority,” Forbes said. “I was met with blank stares and had the sense that I wasn’t telling that person anything they didn’t already know.”
Also on Sunday, Richard Caleel, president of Kramer’s agency, Worldwide Production Agency, confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that it no longer represents him.
“WPA has elected to part ways with Joel Kramer based on the allegations of misconduct now being reported,” Caleel said. “Such behavior is unacceptable and entirely at odds with the standards of conduct we demand of ourselves, and expect from our clients.”
Ryan Parker contributed to this report.