By Kate Feldman
New York Daily News
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Dushku claims that the 50-year-old actor would repeatedly mock previous on-set harassment training and joked about getting a “yellow card.”
New York Daily News
Michael Weatherly’s so-called jokes about threesomes and rape weren’t actually jokes, wrote co-star Eliza Dushku in a new op-ed.
The 37-year-old actress, who appeared in just three episodes of “Bull” despite plans for a multi-season arc, claims Weatherly began harassing her almost immediately after joining the cast, detailing name-calling, comments about a threesome and offers to take her to his “rape van, filled with all sorts of lubricants and long phallic things.”
“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 wrote for the Boston Globe.
“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’).”
Dushku also claims that the 50-year-old actor would repeatedly mock previous on-set harassment training and joked about getting a “yellow card.”
He also allegedly invoked his friendship with former CBS CEO Les Moonves, who has since been ousted for decades of sexual misconduct.
“Weatherly wielded this special friendship as an amulet and, as I can see now, as a threat,” she wrote.
Eventually she confronted Weatherly about his harassment, which she called “the most cruel, most aggressive humiliations I have ever experienced.”
“In explaining his bad behavior, Weatherly, who plays Dr. Bull, claimed I didn’t get his attempt at humor. That’s how a perpetrator rationalizes when he is caught,” Dushku wrote.
“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 DeNiro, Leonardo DiCaprio, even CBS’s own David Boreanaz. I can handle a locker room.”
Forty minutes later, he allegedly texted CBS Television President David Stapf and got her fired.
“What does (Eliza) expect, she was in Maxim,” producer Glenn Gordon Caron allegedly told Dushku’s reps months after she was fired.
Weatherly apologized in a statement to the New York Times, which broke news of the settlement last week, but denied that he had anything to do with Dushku’s firing.
“During the course of taping our show, I made some jokes mocking some lines in the script,” he said. “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.”
Dushku and CBS settled in January for $9.5 million.
“The allegations in Ms. Dushku’s claims are an example that, while we remain committed to a culture defined by a safe, inclusive and respectful workplace, our work is far from done,” CBS said in a statement to the Daily News.
“The settlement of these claims reflects the projected amount that Ms. Dushku would have received for the balance of her contract as a series regular, and was determined in a mutually agreed upon mediation process at the time.”
Calling the network a “boys’ club,” Dushku said that CBS’ lawyers even tried to use a photo of her in a bathing suit during negotiations “as if this suggested I deserved or was not offended by the sexual harassment I experienced.”
The network lawyers also tried to use backstage footage to discredit the actress without realizing that the videos showed some of the harassment she had detailed.
As part of the agreement, Dushku said she insisted that someone “trained in sexual harassment compliance” be on set at all times to “monitor” Weatherly. She also required a sit-down with Steven Spielberg, the boss of Amblin Television, which co-produces “Bull,” but said she hasn’t gotten that yet.