Two former castmates of "Bull" star Michael Weatherly are defending their old colleague following sexual harassment allegations by actress Eliza Dushku, to whom CBS paid a settlement.
"This man . . . I love, respect, trust, and I KNOW. TWO decades of friendship and respect. The best. I love you @M_Weatherly Always and forever," wrote "NCIS" star Pauley Perrette, 49, who played Naval Criminal Investigative Service forensic scientist Abby Sciuto opposite Weatherly as agent Anthony DiNozzo, in a tweet on Saturday.
Sasha Alexander, who is in her mid-40s and played fellow agent Caitlin Todd on the show, tweeted the same day, "I have been in trenches w/ my friend @M_Weatherly. Always laughs, true friend & [heart emoji] as big as they come."
Other "NCIS" stars including Mark Harmon, David McCallum, Sean Murray, Brian Dietzen and Rocky Carroll have stayed silent on the issue.
The New York Times, citing investigative documents in a mediation between CBS and Dushku, reported last week that the network in March had agreed to settle with the actress, 37, for $9.5 million. CBS characterized this as compensation for what she would have received in salary had her recurring role converted to series regular as planned.
The Times said Dushku, who played attorney J.P. Nunnelly in a recurring role on the CBS legal drama, spoke with series showrunner Glen Gordon Caron after a string of inappropriate comments by Weatherly, 50, who stars as psychologist and trial consultant Dr. Jason Bull. Sometime after this, Weatherly texted CBS Television Studios president David Stapf expressing concerns about Dushku's responses to what he felt were humorous comments. Stapf texted back support for the actress, who nonetheless was fired from the show shortly thereafter.
CBS confirmed the settlement, telling the Times, "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."
Weatherly, in a statement to the paper, 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."