Now it's Eliza Dushku's turn.
In a blistering 2,400-word essay posted on The Boston Globe's website on Wednesday, the veteran actress described a pattern of repeated sexual harassment on the set of the CBS procedural "Bull" by series lead Michael Weatherly. Dushku was forced off the series after the first season, then later received a $9.5 million settlement from the network for wrongful termination and harassment by Weatherly, according to an internal investigation by CBS. The story was first reported by The New York Times last week.
In the essay, Dushku, 37 — star of cult series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Dollhouse" — wrote that Weatherly "harassed me from early on," subsequently referring to recordings of Weatherly that had been made on set and which were used in her settlement hearing. The actress wrote that Weatherly had offered to "take me to his 'rape van,' " elaborating in explicit detail on the actor's comment.
"This is not a 'he-said/she-said' case," Dushku wrote. "Weatherly’s behavior was captured on CBS’s own videotape recordings."
Dushku said that "he regularly commented on my 'ravishing' beauty, following up with audible groans, oohing and aahing. As the tapes show, he liked to boast about his . . . [virility]. Weatherly had a habit of exaggerated eyeballing and leering at me; once, he leaned into my body and inhaled, smelling me in a dramatic swoon. As was caught on tape, after I flubbed a line, he shouted in my face, 'I will take you over my knee and spank you like a little girl.' ”
The actress said that his harassment was constant and daily but that after she privately confronted Weatherly, he phoned a CBS executive demanding her firing. She wrote, "retaliation is illegal, not to mention unfair and painful. After I addressed it, Weatherly doubled down and ratcheted up his retaliation."
Dushku said that both Weatherly and showrunner Glenn Gordon Caron had mounted a "deceptive" story when word of her firing leaked, which led her to write the essay for her hometown newspaper.
"For the record, I grew up in Boston," she wrote, "with three older brothers and have generally been considered a tomboy," adding: "I can handle a locker room."
"I do not want to hear that I have a 'humor deficit' or can’t take a joke. I did not overreact. I took a job and, because I did not want to be harassed, I was fired."
Neither CBS nor Weatherly immediately released comments.
Weatherly, 50, in a statement to The New York Times last week, said: "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."