Eliza Dushku Gets $9.5 Million from CBS After Harassment Claims
During an investigation against a former CBS exec, it was discovered that the network paid out nearly $10 million to actress Eliza Dushku after claims of harassment.
In March of 2017, the former 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' actress signed on for a three episode run on the hit CBS show 'Bull', starring former 'NCIS' cast member Michael Weatherly. The plan was for Dushku to join the show as a series regular and love-interest for Weatherly's character. But the positive feeling Dushku had on set was quickly tarnished when Weatherly made unwelcome comments about her appearance, along with jokes about rape and a threesome, all while in front of the cast and crew. After confronting Weatherly on his remarks, Dushku was written off the show.
Believing her character's write off was a direct result of her complaints against Weatherly, Dushku entered into mediation with the network, who then agreed to pay out $9.5 million to the actress, the amount she would have earned for four seasons on the show as a regular cast member. The settlement was to remain confidential, however it was recently uncovered during an investigation by two law firms at the request of the CBS corporate board to look into accusations of sexual misconduct made by several women against Leslie Moonves, CBS's former chief executive, and to examine any “cultural issues at all levels of CBS.”
The lawyers performing the investigation noted that the handling of Dushku's situation by CBS showed larger problems at the network, and that the network showed a history of protecting itself at the expense of the victims. When reached for comment, CBS issued a statement to the New York Times confirming the settlement,
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.
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.
Michael Weatherly also issued a statement, apologizing for his actions and saying it was an attempt at making a joke on-set,
During the course of taping our show, I made some jokes mocking some lines in the script. 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 made similar headlines earlier this year when she publicly accused the stunt coordinator from 'True Lies' of molestation when she was a child actress.