Buffy actress Eliza Dushku claims she was ‘written off’ CBS series after reporting her co-star for sexual harassment – which the network tried to bury with a secret $9.5million settlement
- Dushku was reportedly slated to become a full-time cast member on Bull before she reported comments made to her by lead actor Michael Weatherly
- The network agreed to pay Dushku a confidential settlement of $9.5million
- The details of that settlement have been revealed amid a broader investigation triggered by allegations of sex abuse against former CBS exec Les Moonves
Actress Eliza Dushku claims she was written off the CBS drama Bull (pictured) after reporting sexual harassment by the show’s lead actor Michael Weatherly – allegations that resulted in the network agreeing to a $9.5million settlement
Actress Eliza Dushku claims she was written off the CBS drama Bull after reporting sexual harassment by the show’s lead actor Michael Weatherly – allegations the network tried to bury by paying her a $9.5million settlement.
Dushku, who is best known for her role in Buffy The Vampire Slayer, signed on for three episodes of Bull and was slated to be added as a full-time cast member before her interactions with Weatherly got in the way, according to a bombshell report from the New York Times.
The report claims that the two actors – who played love interests – got along well in the beginning and that Dushku thought Weatherly ‘seemed friendly’.
Things took a turn after Weatherly allegedly made a series of comments in front of other cast and crew members that made Dushku uncomfortable – including remarks about her appearance, a rape joke and a mention of having a threesome.
Dushku, who says she had been told by Bull producer and writer Glenn Gordon Caron that her character would become more prominent, flagged the comments up to the network.
Soon after she was pushed off the show out of what she claims to be retaliation.
Dushku says she was slated to become a full-time cast member on Bull before she reported inappropriate comments that Weatherly made to her on set. The pair are pictured in the show
Mediation with CBS resulted in the network agreeing to pay Dushku a confidential settlement of $9.5million – roughly the amount she stood to earn if kept on the show for four seasons.
That settlement surfaced during an investigation into the network that began in August after former chief executive Les Moonves was ousted over allegations of sexual misconduct made by multiple women.
After his departure, the CBS Corporation board instructed a team of outside lawyers to look into ‘cultural issues at all levels of CBS’ in addition to the accusations against Moonves.
A draft of the investigation report obtained by the Times calls the network’s handling of Dushku’s complaints misguided as well as emblematic of larger problems at CBS.
The lawyers wrote that the company had a tendency to protect itself at the expense of victims when faced with allegations of wrongdoing, the Times reported.
Weatherly, who is best known for his role on NCIS, apologized for his behavior toward Dushku in a statement to the New York Times. The 50-year-old is pictured at an event in October
CBS confirmed the settlement with Dushku in a statement on Wednesday.
‘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 statement said.
‘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.’
Weatherly apologized for his behavior toward Dushku in a statement to the Times, saying: ‘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.’
The details of that settlement came up during a broader investigation into the network that was triggered by allegations of sex abuse against former CBS exec Les Moonves (above)