Last week, we reported that Eliza Dushku had received a $9.5 million settlement from CBS after she spoke out against alleged harassment and bullying on the set of legal drama Bull, specifically centering on series star Michael Weatherly. Dushku signed a non-disclosure agreement, but evidence of the allegations (which reportedly include tapes of Weatherly referring to Dushku as “legs” and making comments about “rape vans” and threesomes between her character and his) came out as part of the larger investigation into sexual misconduct at CBS—i.e., the former home of both Les Moonves and Charlie Rose. Dushku had tried to address the problems on set with Weatherly, at which point he had showrunner Glenn Gordon Caron fire her after complaining that she didn’t get his sense of humor.
Now that the story is out and Weatherly and Caron have freely offered their own dismissive comments about what happened and how it wasn’t a big deal, Dushku has decided that she should also be able to talk about it and has written a piece for The Boston Globe that tells her side of the story. As it turns out, her side of the story makes Weatherly sound like a real piece of shit. She says he indeed made comments about taking her to a “rape van” while on set, as well as ad-libbing lines while filming about their characters having sex (including one time where Weatherly’s “jokes” inspired a crew member to quietly walk up to Dushku and mention that he would also like to have sex with her).
Dushku says Weatherly would regularly comment on her appearance, saying she was “ravishing” and making “audible groans.” He also “had a habit of exaggerated eye-balling and leering” at her, he would lean toward her body and smell her “in a dramatic swoon,” and he was caught on tape telling Dushku, “I will take you over my knee and spank you like a little girl” after she messed up a line. Sometimes, when he would say things that he recognized as inappropriate, Dushku says he would shout “yellow card,” which she believes to be a way of making fun of some harassment training he had already undergone.
Dushku’s stories like that just keep going, with Weatherly regularly telling her about his virility and his friendship with Les Moonves, but she says that his behavior got worse after she offered to help him be an “ally” and ease off on the “sexualized set comments.” After that, Weatherly released some sort of “memo” to the cast and crew that said nobody was allowed to talk about Dushku’s appearance, implying she would be offended by any compliments. Then, at a wrap party on the last day of filming, Weatherly allegedly made a big show during a drawing for a raffle about needing a “truly beautiful woman” to help him (emphasis Dushku’s). She says he pretended to look around the room before landing on her, shouting “Eliza! Yes, the most beautiful woman of all.” Dushku says it was a power play to show that he “won” and that nobody would be able to stop him from doing whatever he wanted.
As for Caron and CBS, Dushku says Caron told her she was fired in the middle of filming, even though nobody she spoke to at the network believed he even had that power. When Dushku decided to sue, Caron allegedly said “what does [Eliza] expect, she was in Maxim” and implied that she would blow her entire acting career if she followed through with it. Then, during the process of getting the settlement, she says CBS used a photo of her in a bathing suit from her own Instagram as if to prove that she “deserved or was not offended by the sexual harassment” she faced on the Bull set.
As part of the settlement that was eventually made, Dushku forced CBS to hire someone trained in sexual harassment compliance to keep an eye on Weatherly and Bull, and she demanded that she have a chance to meet with Steven Spielberg—whose Amblin Entertainment produces the show and who Dushku saw wearing a “Time’s Up” pin at the Golden Globes. She says she wants to know where he was during all of this and whether or not he has the power to actually make changes, but she has not had the meeting yet.
Meanwhile, just this week, CBS announced that Les Moonves—the former network head who is apparently good friends with Weatherly—won’t be getting his $120 million severance pay after an investigation determined that there is “merit” to the many sexual harassment claims that have been made against him.