Eliza Dushku Speaks Out About Sexual Harassment, Firing by CBS

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Charlie Breitrose

Eliza Dushku shared her experiences with alcohol and drug addition and getting sober at the Watertown Overcoming Addiction Candlelight Vigil and Memorial held Wednesday night..

Eliza Dushku responded to reports about her firing from CBS’s “Bull” after she complained about sexual harassment by the show’s star, as well as the subsequent settlement.

During Eliza Dushku’s time on the CBS show “Bull” she experienced “classic workplace harassment” which it turned into “workplace bullying” that made the set a place she dreaded to be. The Watertown native wrote about her experience in an op-ed piece in the Boston Globe

Dushku broke her silence to respond to what she called the “revisionist accounts” of the show’s star, Michael Weatherly, and the writer-producer Gelnn Gordon Caron that appeared in a New York Times story last week.

The Times reported that Dushku received $9.5 million in the settlement to reflect that her character was to have become a full-time role on “Bull,” but she was written off after she complained about her treatment on set.

“I am still trying to make sense of how this could happen, especially in these times,” Dushku wrote in the piece.”

Dushku said the settlement was not just about money.

“A significant settlement condition was my requirement that CBS designate an individual trained in sexual harassment compliance to monitor Weatherly and the show in general. CBS did not want to do this, but I wouldn’t settle without this condition,” she wrote.

She also wanted to meet with Steven Spielberg, whose production company Amblin Television co-produces “Bull.” This has not yet happened.

In the op-ed, Dushku said that the statements from Weatherly and Caron were “deceptive” and did not reflect how she was treated on the set of “Bull.” She added that they retaliated against her “for simply asking to do my job without relentless sexual harassment.”

Dushku responded to the statements by Weatherly that his comments to her were meant as humorous. She said that she does not have a “humor deficit” and described some of her many roles, including in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and in a Kevin Smith movie, and that she has been on Howard Stern’s show.

According to Dushku, Weatherly not only used sexually suggestive language but also made lewd gestures, including on the day that her husband visited the set. She added that Weatherly frequently referenced his close relationship with the then CBS CEO Les Moonves, and she now sees these references to the two men’s special friendship as a threat. Moonves was fired by CBS in September after multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and retaliation.

Dushku wrote that when show producers pitched the role to her, they showed it as a strong female balance to the character of Dr. Jason Bull’s M.O. of “bedding every female.” She added that it was likened to the relationship in the 1980s show “Moonlighting,” with Bruce Willis and Cybil Shepherd, which was created by Caron.

After she complained to Weatherly about his comment, Dushku writes that Caron wrote her off the show with in 48 hours. She said she was fired in the middle of shooting, and added that Caron made the decision without the “knowledge or consent” of CBS execs.

She added that she originally declined to comment for the New York Times article to honor the terms of the settlement reached with CBS.

Read the entire op-ed by clicking here.

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