Eliza Dushku testifies about ‘near-constant sexual harassment’ on set of ‘Bull’ throughout House judiciary listening to

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 14: Eliza Dushku attends the
Eliza Dushku testified about sexual harassment on the set of Bull and the way CBS resolved her claims duriing a congressional listening to on Tuesday. (Photo: Jason Mendez/Getty Images)

Eliza Dushku is talking out about sexual harassment within the office.

The 40-year-old actress testified to the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday about struggling “near constant sexual harassment” whereas showing in CBS’s Bull and being “fired in silence when I attempted to address it.”

The listening to, titled “Silenced: How Forced Arbitration Keeps Victims of Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment in the Shadows,” was held for lawmakers weighing new laws to eradicate pressured arbitration clauses in employment, shopper and civil rights circumstances. Dushku, who accused co-star Michael Weatherly of harassment, was fired inside 24 hours of complaining. When she fought it, she was pressured into arbitration, per her contract. Her reported settlement, $9.5 million settlement, which was roughly the pay-out of her contract, resulted in a non-disclosure settlement (NDA) that barred her from discussing the case publicly.

Because Dushku was testifying, she was in a position to give extra element than her NDA settlement usually permits. She detailed how CBS “aggressively pursued” her for the position of J.P. Nunnelly, which she was advised had been created for her. 

The very first week, in 2017, nevertheless, she mentioned the harassment began with “crude, sexualized and lewd verbal assaults” by Weatherly, 53. She mentioned it was “near constant sexual harassment” and “unlike anything else” she had skilled on a set as a working actor for the reason that age of 9.

Dushku made a six-year dedication to seem on the present enjoying a sensible, sturdy, assured lawyer. She claimed that Weatherly, additionally a producer, would name her “Legs,” odor her and “leeringly” look her up and down.

The Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel alum recalled how as soon as, in entrance of 100 solid and crew members, Weatherly mentioned he would, “Take me to his rape van and use lube and long phallic things on me, and take me over his knee and spank me like a little girl.” Another time, he advised her his “sperm were powerful swimmers.”

Dushku talked about how “demeaning” it was and the way she “dreaded going to work.” She feared pushing again would put her “job at risk” and damage her skilled fame. 

She mentioned issues reached a peak when she delivered a courtroom monologue that she put loads of preparation into. When she completed the scene, she mentioned Weatherly shouted that he and his buddy needed to have a threesome along with her. They “began mock penis jousting while the camera was still rolling,” she mentioned.

The toxicity unfold, she mentioned. During a espresso break, she mentioned a crew member got here as much as her and mentioned, “I’m with Bull,” the identify of Weatherly’s character, Dr. Jason Bull. “I want to have a threesome with you too.”

Eliza Dushku and J.P. Nunnelly andMichael Weatherly as Dr. Jason Bull on the set of Bull. (Photo: Barbara Nitke/CBS through Getty Images)

Dushku was “horrified” and took to dressing down for work in unfastened garments, together with sweats borrowed from her husband. After discussing the scenario along with her supervisor, she determined to talk with Weatherly instantly and did, nervously asking him to be her ally — and tone down the sexualized feedback.

“He responded in feign shock, ‘No one is more respectful of women than me. I grew up with sisters,’” she mentioned.

She later realized that 40 minutes after that alternate, Weatherly texted the top of CBS Studios saying Dushku had a “humor deficit” and he did not need her on the present. Even although the studio head replied that Dushku was “great and made the show better,” she was fired the subsequent day.

She mentioned because of a compulsory arbitration clause in her contract — which she did not know existed — she was “silenced” and compelled into arbitration when she pursued authorized motion.

“I’ve worked as an actress since I was a child and signed countless contracts negotiated on my behalf, but never understood that there were mandatory arbitration clauses that would be used to keep what had happened to me a secret and would protect CBS and the sexual harassment perpetrator, who had blatantly retaliated against me for trying the stop the harassment in my workplace,” Dushku mentioned.

“I was shocked to learn that I signed away my rights to a public forum before taking a job,” she mentioned. “Who would ever think up such a clause? Who were these clauses meant to favor and protect? It suddenly became very clear: Not me.”

Dushku mentioned that whereas there was even video surfaced of the harassment “captured verbatim on the tapes,” it is all underneath lock and key as a result of arbitration clause.

In 2018, Dushku reached the reported $9.5 million settlement, which was approximately what she was to make if she stayed on the present. However, she mentioned it does not make up for what occurred to her fame for talking up — and never with the ability to have her day in court docket.

“To this day whenever my career, my life’s work, is referenced, my accomplishments as an actor are ignored,” she mentioned. “I’ve been reduced to being ‘Eliza Dushku, the actress who was paid off for allegedly being sexually harassed on a TV series.’ … This was not the outcome I desired or ever expected, but because of binding arbitration there will never be real justice for me and for countless other victims of sexual harassment and assault.”

Bull, starring Weatherly, continues to air on CBS. For his half, he publicly denied having something to do with Dushku being written off the present. However, he admitted to have engaged in conduct that was “both not funny and not appropriate” and said he was sorry for “the pain this caused Eliza.”